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Whistleblower Protection in South Carolina – Review of SC Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms

A South Carolina whistleblower employed by a South Carolina government agency is not exposed to unfavorable employment practices when reporting violations of state or federal laws or regulations or other violations in a timely manner. South Carolina attorneys representing SC state whistle-blowers, lawyers and law firms should be aware of the protection of employees who are fired, demoted, suspended or otherwise subjected to bad behavior in response to fraud or other misconduct reporting to public agencies. Or one of its officials or employees. The whistle-blower lawyers, lawyers, and law firms in South Carolina should also be aware of the administrative requirements necessary to invoke the protection of national anti-retaliation laws, as well as the remedies provided to informants. There are also some whistleblower protection measures for government and private employees who report violations of South Carolina’s occupational safety and health laws, rules, or regulations.

State Government Employee's South Carolina Whistleblower Protection Act

The South Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation called "Employment Protection against State or Federal Law or Regulatory Reporting" ("Bill") reporting violations of the state Protect South Carolina employees from reprisals or diplomatic acts when they are federal laws or regulations or other illegal acts including fraud and abuse. See South Carolina Code § 8-27-10, and so on. The Act denies South Carolina’s public agency reporting reductions or revocations of suspensions or downgrades of national staff’s compensation based on reports of employees submitting reports of protected wrongful acts to relevant authorities. SC code § 8-27-20 (A). Protected reports must be produced in good faith by SC informants, not just technical violations. ID. This law does not apply to private, non-governmental employers or employees. SC code § 8-27-50.

The public agency under the Act refers to one of the following South Carolina entities: (a) the state department; (b) the national committee, committee, committee, agency or authority; (c) the public or government agency of the country Or political divisions, including counts, municipalities, school districts, or special purpose or public service areas; (D) organizations, companies, or institutions that are wholly or partially supported by public funds or spend public funds; Egypt, (v) national standards Government agencies and their political divisions. SC Code§ 8-27-10(1).

The Act stipulates that South Carolina employees are employees of public agency entities in South Carolina and generally do not include state-level managers who are appointed or employed by the Senate. SC code § 8-27-10(2).

Appropriate authorization under the Act means (a) the use of a public body that provides the whistle-blower who protected the report, or (B) federal, state, or local government agencies that have criminal law enforcement, supervisory powers, agencies, or organizations including but Not limited to the South Carolina State Department of Law Enforcement ("SLED"), County Attorney's Office, State Ethics Committee, State Auditor, Legislative Audit Committee ("LAC") and Attorney General's Office ("SCAG"). SC code § 8-27-10(3). If a report is provided to an entity other than a public body that uses the report whistleblower, the act requires that the entity receiving the report notify the hiring public agency as soon as practicable. ID.

According to the Act, the report of the protection of the SC whistle-blower is a written document purporting to be wasting or wrongdoing made within sixty (60) days from the date the employee was first heard of the alleged wrongdoing. It also includes (a) the date of disclosure; (b) the name of the employee who submitted the report; (c) the nature of the wrongful act and the date or range of alleged wrongdoing. SC code § 8-27-10(4).

According to the Act, reportable wrongdoing refers to any action taken by a public agency that causes substantial abuse, misuse, destruction or loss of basic public funds or public resources, including public employee intentional violation of federal or state allegations or Regulations or other political subdivision regulations or codes or codes of ethics, § 8-27-10 (5) of the SC Code. According to the Act, a purely technical or insignificant violation is not an "illegal act." ID.

SC Whistleblower Rewards

When SC state employees boast of fraud or abuse or violations of federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations, and protected reports can save the country public funds under the Act The whistleblower has the right to be rewarded or rewarded. However, the reward is very limited. The provisions of the Act stipulate that the SC whistleblower is entitled to a minimum of two thousand U.S. dollars (US$2,000) or 25% (25%) of the estimated funds saved by the state in reporting the first year of employees; the report. The South Carolina State Budget and Control Committee determines the amount paid by an employee who is eligible to receive a reward for submitting a protected report. See SC Code § 8-27-20 (B). Compared with the award clause of the Federal "False Declaration Law" (31 USC §§ 3729-3732, "FCA"), this kind of reward is very meager. FCA allows Qui tam whistleblowers or brokers to receive 30% of the total recovery from the government. These are defenders who filed false and fraudulent claims to the United States. The U.S. Justice Department’s recent federal FCA recovery has exceeded US$1 billion.

However, this Act does not replace the National Employee Advice Plan. If the whistle-blower organization participates in the National Employee Advice Plan, the project that is determined to involve "illegal behavior" must be submitted as proposal to be programmed by the employee. Employees of the South Carolina State government are only entitled to one of the employee’s choices according to the Act or the employer’s proposed plan. ID.

SC whistleblower’s civil remedies

If a South Carolina State employee suffers employment-related adverse behavior within one (1) year of immediately filing a protected report of alleged misconduct, the employee may establish a non-jury After the civil has exhausted all available complaints, it has taken other administrative remedial measures against the employers of the public agencies, and this appeal/administrative procedure has already responded in a result of the investigation and determined that the employee will not be diagnosed. It is because of the wrongful act of reporting the alleged crime. SC code § 8-27-30(A). Unfavorable behavior or retaliation may include disclaimers, suspension of hiring, downgrading or reducing whistleblower compensation. The statutory remedial measures that employees may recover under the Act are: (1) to restore their original position; (2) to lose wages; (3) to actually lose no more than 15,000 USD (15,000 USD); (4) as determined by the court Reasonable legal fees. ID. However, according to the law, the upper limit of the lawyer’s fees is capped, and for any appeal, the maximum limit for any trial and $5,000 ($5,000) must not exceed $10,000 ($10,000). ID.

At least one court filed a remedy for the report against the reporter. SC Lawson v. South Carolina Correctional Services Department 340 SC 346, 532 SE2d 259 (2000), SC Supreme Court held that when a whistleblower’s employee is limited to statutory remedies the employee only uses his The report is grounds for claiming that the wrong dismissal was made. In Lawson the court approved a summary judgment of the employee because he could not point out any violation of any policy, moral rules, or other stipulated behavior as the basis for his reporting behavior, which was adjusted to “illegal” Behavior Act. ID.

According to the unfavorable actions taken independently of the protected report

If the relevant organization that received the report determines that the report of the reporter is unfounded or merely a technical violation, and it is not made in good faith, public Institutions may take disciplinary actions, including termination, and even if a report is submitted, the public agency may dismiss, suspend, degrade, or reduce the employee’s compensation for reasons independent of the filing of the protected report. ID. A public agency in South Carolina may also impose sanctions on employees of any direct supervisor who has retaliated against another employee for submitting a good faith report.

Restrictive regulations

According to the Act, a whistleblower’s civil lawsuit must file or exhaust all available complaints or other administrative and judicial remedies within one (1) year after the lawsuit is filed, or such lawsuits are forever Prohibited. SC code § 8-27-30 (B).

Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) whistleblower protection

South Carolina provides a separate whistleblower protection statement for employees who report violations of occupational safety and health laws, rules, or regulations. SC code § 41-15-510. Protected activities include filing a complaint, filing a lawsuit, or certifying OSHA violations. Any employee who has been dismissed in violation of section 41-15-510 or discriminated against by any person has the right to file a complaint with the South Carolina State Labour Commission against such discrimination. The Commissioner of Labour of the Labour Commissioner shall conduct investigations in accordance with principles he deems appropriate, and if the Commissioner determines that there is a violation of the anti-discrimination provisions of Sections 41-15-510, he must file a suit in the appropriate court for the ordinary person or entity of such discrimination. request. In any such lawsuit, the ordinary court has a prohibition on anti-discrimination violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and has the power to order all appropriate remedial measures, including reemployment or reinstatement of employees to return to their original positions and pay salaries. SC code § 41-15-520. Unlike the bill, OSHA whistleblower protection is available to state and private employees.

Conclusion

South Carolina whistleblowers employed by South Carolina State agencies are not exposed to unfavorable employment practices when they report timely violations of state or federal laws or regulations or other unlawful practices. South Carolina attorneys representing SC state whistle-blowers, lawyers and law firms need to understand the protection of these employees who are dismissed, demoted, suspended or otherwise subjected to bad behavior in response to public fraud or other unlawful practices. One of the reporting agencies or their officers or employees. South Carolina Whistleblower Attorneys, Lawyers and Law Firms should review the administrative requirements, timeliness regulations, and remedies provided to South Carolina State whistleblowers for citing national anti-retaliation laws and regulations to provide appropriate advice to these clients. Similarly, employment lawyers should also be aware of the rights and remedies of private and South Carolina government employees. They boast about whistle violations of state occupational safety and health regulations, rules or regulations.

©2010 Joseph P. Griffith, Jr.

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