Federal Tax Whistleblowers

Passed on July 1, 2019, the Tax Payers First Act (TFA) provided important protection for workers employees who have reported Federal tax law violations or underpayment of taxes.  Doyle Dennis Avery LLP represented whistleblowers who have reported violations of federal tax laws, who have since been retaliated against.

What is protected?

The TFA provided important protections for employees or workers who have reported violations of federal tax law.  This includes:

What is an adverse act?

The Tax Payers’ First, Act precludes employer or officers, employees, contractors, subcontractors, or agents of such employer, from discharging, demoting, suspending, threatening, harassing, or in any other manner discriminating against an employee “in the terms and conditions of employment (including through an act in the ordinary course of such employee’s duties) in reprisal for any lawful act done by the employee.”

What is the deadline to file?

An employee must file a complaint with the Department of Labor within 180 days of the wrongful adverse act.

How do I prove retaliation or wrongful termination?

To prove wrongful termination or retaliation under the TFA, an employee must meet four general elements. First, they must show that they engaged in a protected act. Second, the employer must have subjected them to an adverse action, Third, the employer knew about the protected act. And fourth, the adverse act was a contributing factor in the adverse action.

How do I file a retaliation or wrongful termination lawsuit?

Under AMLA, an employee must file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor. If the Secretary of Labor has not issued a final decision within 180 days of the filing of a complaint, the employee may file a claim in federal district court.

What damages are available?

 Under the Tax Payer’s First Act, “an employee prevailing in any action under paragraph (2)(A) shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole.” The act further provides that an employee is entitled to “200 percent of the amount of back pay and 100 percent of all lost benefits, with interest,” and “compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the reprisal, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees.”  This includes mental anguish and other damages caused by the retaliation.