Whistleblower FAQs

The team at Robbins LLP is here to answer your questions about antitrust class action suits. Contact us today with any antitrust questions.

A whistleblower is someone who comes forward to provide information they have about a grave wrongdoing. To be a whistleblower, you must have evidence of misconduct. In fact, to be a whistleblower you:


  • Do not have to work for or be a former employee of the company engaged in the misconduct
  • Do not have to have witnessed the misconduct yourself or have evidence of the misconduct
  • Need not be an American citizen or resident
  • May have been involved in the misconduct
  • May be a corporate competitor

Any consumer, entity, or company harmed by a violation of antitrust laws can bring an antitrust lawsuit. If the court determines that a larger group of consumers shares the same claims, it will allow the case to proceed as a class action on behalf of all similarly injured consumers.

Certain whistleblower reward programs allow for anonymous filings if the whistleblower is represented by a licensed attorney – the attorney applies on behalf of the whistleblower. Whether a whistleblower can remain anonymous depends on the particular whistleblowing program and how the case proceeds. Some programs afford confidentiality for whistleblowers; however, if the government is forced to litigate the underlying violation, the whistleblower’s identity may need to be revealed.

While whistleblower laws vary, most require three things of a whistleblower to qualify as such:

  • A whistleblower must voluntarily provide their information to the government.
  • A whistleblower must provide original information about the misconduct, i.e., information not already known by the government.
  • A whistleblower’s information must contribute to the success of an enforcement action.

Several U.S. laws offer whistleblowers monetary rewards for reporting fraud and financial misconduct that leads to a successful enforcement action. The process for obtaining a whistleblower reward and the amount depend upon the law under which the whistleblower case is brought. However, consistent among the laws, is that for a whistleblower to receive an award, the government must obtain a certain amount of money in the enforcement action.


In addition to a whistleblower reward, U.S. laws offer additional relief for whistleblowers, including:

  • protections from retaliation, which can include a change in job duties, harassment, and termination
  • punitive damages for the reckless or callous disregard for the whistleblower’s rights
  • reinstatement of a position
  • back pay for lost wages and benefits
  • compensatory or special damages for non-economic harm that resulted from retaliation
  • damages for lost future earnings

No. A whistleblower is not required to report misconduct internally before filing a claim with the government. Whether a whistleblower chooses to report internally is a personal decision that should be considered carefully.  


Many companies have procedures for investigating and addressing whistleblowers’ concerns. If you do not attempt this less formal process of correcting the wrongdoing, you’ll never know if reporting internally would have resulted in a more timely resolution of the problem. Internal reporting can also build credibility with the government by showing the whistleblower sincerely wants to solve the problem. In some instances, internal whistleblowing may cause a company to voluntarily report its misconduct to the government to minimize the consequences of a whistleblower bringing the information forward.


However, reporting internally can be problematic, especially if your employer does not offer a legitimate reporting system. Whistleblowers risk retaliation when reporting internally. Internal reports may lead to the concealment or destruction of evidence. And, whistleblowers who report internally may have difficulty maintaining anonymity.

You are not automatically excluded from being a whistleblower if you participated in the wrongdoing, particularly if you participated unknowingly or at the direction of a supervisor. A whistleblower who was an active participant in the fraud may receive a reduced reward if their participation was substantial, but a whistleblower will only be barred from receiving a reward when the whistleblower planned or initiated the fraud, or is convicted of a crime stemming from the wrongful conduct.

A whistleblower case can take many years. The length of time depends upon a number of factors, including the extent of the information provided, the number of cases the government is handling and other factors impacting the government’s ability to conduct its investigation, and whether the government determines to bring a formal action against the company accused of the misconduct, to name a few.

No. Whistleblower plaintiffs in actions brought by Robbins LLP are not responsible for paying attorneys’ fees or expenses. All costs and expenses of the litigation are advanced by Robbins LLP. In fact, may whistleblower programs pay whistleblowers for coming forward. Robbins LLP will only recover its fees and costs – paid for by defendants – if we are successful in obtaining a judgment against the entity or company committing the wrongdoing.

Having information at your fingertips is easier than ever. Enroll in Robbins LLP’s free investment monitoring service, Stock Watch, for notifications of corporate misconduct impacting the value of your investments, advice on how to hold corporate officers and directors accountable for their misconduct, and to receive information about class action settlements. 

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