Georgia Public Employee Whistleblowers

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Georgia is an “at will” employment state, meaning that employers can typically fire their employees with or without cause. However, most Georgia employees are protected by federal laws that prohibit unlawful discrimination and retaliation. Most Georgia employees are also protected by one or more additional statutes, the public employee whistleblower statute (O.C.G.A. § 45-1-4) and the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act (O.C.G.A. § 23-3-122).

The Georgia public employee whistleblower statute was implemented to prevent retaliatory action (termination, demotion, suspension, or any other adverse action) against a public employee who makes a complaint or provides information regarding any activity constituting waste, fraud, and abuse. A public employee who is the victim of retaliation can recover the following damages:

  • Reinstatement to the same position held prior to the retaliatory actions;
  • Reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights;
  • Compensation for lost wages, benefits, and other related monetary job perks;
  • Any other compensatory damages allowable under the law; and,
  • Attorneys’ fees and costs

The Georgia public employee whistleblower statute also arguably extends to private sector employees who report private employers that have defrauded the state or local government.

The Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act is modeled after the Federal False Claims Act, a unique federal law that enables private individuals to file actions on behalf of the government against unscrupulous businesses and people claiming a stake in federal monies. The purpose of the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act is to encourage those who are aware of fraud against the government to bring such information to light. The Act offers protection to any employee that is “discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms of employment.” A public or private employee who is the victim of retaliation can recover the following damages:

  • Reinstatement with same seniority status
  • Two times the amount of back pay lost, plus interest on back pay
  • Compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the retaliation
  • Attorneys’ fees and costs

Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Can Help

The Georgia whistleblower attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have successfully represented many public and private sector employees that have been discriminated and retaliated against by their employers after they blew the whistle on their employer’s unlawful conduct. We are glad to help you, as well.

Call us today at (404) 419-6674, or reach out through our online contact form to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

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