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Understanding retaliation protections for Medicare fraud whistleblowers

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2024 | Whistleblower Protection

Medicare employees who witness fraud have a moral obligation to report it. Whistleblowing is a brave act. However, doing so may lead to negative outcomes, including retaliation from their employer. This can take many forms, such as demotion, harassment or even termination. Fortunately, there are federal protections in place for those who decide to blow the whistle.

The rights of a whistleblower

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report fraud or abuse. The FCA also allows whistleblowers to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government, which can result in significant rewards for their bravery. Additionally, whistleblowers facing retaliation can file a lawsuit against their employer and recover damages.

Steps for addressing retaliation

When a whistleblower faces retaliation, keeping a detailed record of all incidents is crucial. Robust evidence is crucial when pursuing legal action. A lawsuit can help a whistleblower pursue damages, including reinstatement, double back pay, and compensation for litigation costs and attorney’s fees.

The importance of legal representation

A whistleblower case can be complex and daunting. Retaliation resulting from it can further complicate the situation. This is why it is necessary to go through the process with the assistance of an experienced lawyer. A competent lawyer can provide guidance on a whistleblower’s rights, as well as the legal process.

Medicare fraud whistleblowers play a critical role in exposing deceptive practices that drain resources from the health care system. However, speaking out can come with significant risks. If you are a whistleblower facing retaliation, it is important to understand your rights and seek legal guidance. By doing so, you can protect your rights as you help hold those responsible for fraud accountable.