A former UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, who provided information on UBS’ vast business of helping wealthy Americans hide their assets from the Internal Revenue Service has received a $104 million whistleblower reward. Birkenfeld was instrumental in assisting the US government in gathering information. In 2009, the US government and UBS settled the matter and the bank agreed to pay $780 million in penalties and turn over the account information of thousands of US clients. The IRS Whistleblower Office was established in 2007, though Birkenfeld’s lawyers said his was the first “major reward” it had granted. By law, whistleblowers can collect up to 30% of what the IRS recovers as a result of their tips.
Under New York Labor Law §740, public and private employers cannot discipline or take retaliatory action against employees who disclose or threaten to disclose activities, policies or practices that violate laws or regulations or threaten public health or safety. The protections extend to public employees who disclose to a governmental body information that they reasonably believe to be an improper governmental action. Aggrieved employees can sue for reinstatement, back-pay and benefits and may be entitled to courts costs and attorney fees. A prevailing employer may recover court costs and attorney fees if the suit is not based on law or fact.
The attorneys of Leeds Brown Law, P.C. are experienced and determined employment law practitioners who will fight hard to make sure your rights are preserved. If you find your employer is engaging in questionable discriminatory behavior, we urge you to contact an attorney at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., at 1-800-585-4658, for a free consultation.