Every job comes with its challenges. If you learn about wrongdoing, unethical activity or misconduct at your workplace, the law allows you to bring such activity to the attention of the public. This is known as whistleblowing.
However, it’s not uncommon for a whistleblower to face reprisals from the employer or affected parties following their action. In some instances, these reprisals can escalate to the point of persecution. If this happens, you should never sit back and do nothing. This is where the False Claims Act (FCA) comes in.
How does the False Claims Act work for you as a whistleblower?
Also known as the “Lincoln Law,” the Fair Claims Act allows a whistleblower to sue any individual or entity that is defrauding the federal government for damages as well as job protection against potential retaliation. This lawsuit is filed under seal to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Upon filing the suit, the government will conduct its investigation and decide whether to intervene in your case or not.
Examples of conduct that can amount to an attempt to defraud the government, hence a whistleblower lawsuit include:
- Demanding kickbacks
- Submitting false payment claims
- Making false claims during audit to reduce the amount of money an entity owes
Basically, most activities that attempt to defraud the government would justify this kind of lawsuit.
Your protections under the False Claims Act
Generally, the False Claims Act protects you against retaliation after blowing the whistle. Thus, if your employer retaliates against you, then you may file a retaliation lawsuit against them. Subject to the circumstances of your case, you may recover lost wages, litigation costs and special damages among others.
Understanding how the Fair Claims Act works can help you protect your rights and interests while filing a lawsuit against your employer.