In some cases, doing the right thing can put you in an awkward position. Situations that could severely impact your employment may make you second guess whether you should report the wrongdoing you have noticed. However, not providing information could potentially put you in a more difficult situation later on. As a result, you may have to make a stressful decision as to how you want to handle the predicament.
If you believe that your employer has made false claims to the government, coming forward with this information can understandably seem daunting. However, it may comfort you to know that certain protections could prevent retaliatory actions from damaging your career, and you could potentially gain an award for coming forward.
Qui tam case
Qui tam action allows you to file a legal claim against your employer for fraudulent acts against the government. Some acts of fraud include:
- Not providing paid-for services
- Lying about product quality
- Selling a product but not delivering it
Such actions, as well as numerous others, could cheat the government out of hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars. Therefore, government agencies often appreciate individuals coming forward with information.
If the court finds your employer guilty of fraud, the guilty party would have to pay three times the amount of monetary damages the fraudulent activity caused the government. Additionally, penalties, punitive damages and court costs could all fall under damages the defendant must pay. This amount could prove valuable to you as you could potentially gain an award.
Awards for coming forward
After the litigation comes to an end and the damages have been determined, you could earn an award somewhere between 15 and 30 percent of the amount recovered from the defendant. The court will determine the exact amount that you obtain. This award acts as an incentive to get individuals like yourself to come forward with information.
However, your award percentage could decrease slightly if the government participates in the lawsuit you bring about. If you did not have any involvement with the fraudulent activity, your award would land somewhere between 15 and 25 percent of the recovered damages.
Because you undoubtedly feel anxious about taking on such an endeavor, you certainly do not want to tackle a lawsuit on your own. Therefore, you may want to enlist the assistance of an experienced New York attorney who can help guide you through the process, understand the time and effort needed, and ensure that your rights remain protected.