False Claims Act Retaliation and Discrimination
There are laws preventing retaliation on the part of your employer for exposing fraud under the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, a person with knowledge of fraud committed against the federal government may sue on behalf of the government to recover losses caused by such fraud. Whistleblowers can receive 15% to 30% of any recovery under the False Claims Act. To learn more about the False Claims Act, click here. To learn more about the protections you receive as a whistleblower, read on.
What activities are protected?
Under the FCA, an employee, contractor, or agent is protected from retaliation when acting in furtherance of a False Claims action. Specifically, protected activities include investigating an FCA action, initiating an FCA action, testifying for an FCA action, or assisting in an FCA action. This would include informing an employer of illegal conduct, refusing to assist or otherwise be complicit in a scheme to defraud the government or taking any other reasonable steps to prevent fraud from occurring.
What must the plaintiff prove to prevail?
To win an False Claims retaliation action, you must prove (1) you were engaged in protected activity and (2) the employer knew you were engaged in protected activity. You have three years from the date on which the retaliation occurred to file your retaliation action.
If you believe that your employer may have retaliated against you due to your protected acts under the FCA, you should consult with an attorney. Generally, your employer is prohibited from taking any action which has a negative effect on the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. This includes termination, demotion, suspension, harassment and any other act that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting violations of the FCA, even an act of retaliation against an individual associated with the whistleblower. If you are successful in your retaliation action, the Court will enter judgment to place you where you otherwise would have been had you not been retaliated against, i.e. “made whole”. Awarded damages can include reinstatement, front pay, double back pay, interest on back pay, litigation costs and reasonable attorney fees. To schedule a time to speak with an attorney, contact us now.