A Georgia Government Whistleblower Attorney Can Help
If you are a Georgia state, county, or city government employee who is thinking about blowing the whistle on illegal or unethical government misconduct, you have strong whistleblower protections on your side.
Georgia taxpayers expect and deserve honest government.
To promote this goal, Georgia has enacted strong whistleblower protection laws that encourage public employees to speak out when they know about government misconduct and corruption.
The most important whistleblower law for Georgia public employees is a state law known as O.C.G.A. § 45-1-4. This whistleblower protection law is commonly referred to as the Georgia Whistleblower Act ("GWA"). The GWA applies only to government employees who blow the whistle on state and local government misconduct.
The GWA guarantees you important whistleblower rights. It also makes it illegal for a government employer to retaliate against you after you have engaged in protected activity.
Protected activity under the GWA includes any complaint where you disclose:
- Fraud, which involves the intentional use of deception to gain state or local money, property, or an advantage.
- Waste, which involves the needless, careless, or extravagant expenditure of state or local funds.
- Abuse, which involves the unreasonable and unnecessary use or destruction of state or local resources or property.
After you make a whistleblower complaint, your employer cannot retaliate against you. This means your employer cannot discharge, suspend, demote, or take any other adverse employment action against you because you have made a whistleblower complaint.
Once you blow the whistle, you must act quickly. The government may attempt to use its power and vast resources against you.
Having an experienced whistleblower law firm on your side can make the difference between winning and losing your case.
Our Georgia government whistleblower attorneys are ready to help. We will help you stand up against the government. We will help you get the justice you deserve.
Do I Have a Good Georgia Whistleblower Case?
The first thing our Georgia government whistleblower lawyers do is determine if you have a good case.
The key to building a strong whistleblower case is to conduct a thorough investigation. Our legal team leaves no stone unturned.
We interview all witnesses. We secure all evidence. We carefully analyze each specific law, rule, or regulation that applies to your case.
After you blow the whistle, you may experience intimidation, workplace harassment, employment discrimination, or even a wrongful termination. When this happens, you have the right to file a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit.
Under the Georgia Whistleblower Act, there are two types of retaliation claims:
- Disclosure Claims are claims by government employees who are retaliated against after they disclose government fraud, waste, or abuse to either their supervisor or a government agency.
- Objection Claims are claims by government employees who are retaliated against after they object to, or refuse to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of a government employer that the public employee has reasonable cause to believe is in violation of or noncompliance with a law, rule, or regulation.
To win your retaliation case under the Georgia Whistleblower Act, you must prove the following:
- That you engaged in protected activity;
- That your government employer knew that you engaged in protected activity;
- That your government employer retaliated against you; and,
- That your protected activity contributed to your government employer's decision to retaliate against you.
Choosing the Right Georgia Whistleblower Lawyer Can Make All the Difference
Blowing the whistle on government misconduct takes courage. It also means you must follow strict rules. If you do not follow these rules, you will lose your right to whistleblower protection.
For example, under the Georgia Whistleblower Act, you will not be protected if you only tell the media about your whistleblower complaint. Instead, public employee whistleblowers must submit their complaints directly to a supervisor or a government agency. Under the Georgia Whistleblower Act:
- Supervisor is defined as an individual who has authority to direct and control your work performance, has authority to take corrective action after you make a complaint, or is designated by your employer to receive whistleblower complaints.
- Government Agency is defined as any agency of the federal, state, or local government charged with the enforcement of laws, rules, or regulations, such as the Georgia Office of the State Inspector General.
The Georgia Whistleblower Act has many technical requirements. An experienced Georgia government whistleblower attorney will help you comply with all of the legal requirements of Georgia's whistleblower laws.
Depending on the facts of your case, if you suffer whistleblower retaliation our Georgia government whistleblower attorneys can help you obtain the following types of relief:
- Reinstatement, which includes returning you back to the same position you held before the retaliation or to an equivalent position with full fringe benefits and seniority rights
- Back pay, which includes payment of lost wages, benefits, and other remuneration to cover the time you were not working
- Compensatory Damages, which includes money to compensate you for damage to you for emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Attorneys fees, which includes paying your attorney's hourly fees, court costs, and expenses
Workplace retaliation is hard to prove. Your government employer will deny it has retaliated against you.
We will help you fight back. We will protect you for having the courage to stand up against the government and demand accountability.