Many Americans witness fraudulent activity on the job.
Many people do not report what they see but fortunately there are many who do. The person who takes the initiative to report wrongdoing is called a whistle blower. Just like a teacher may blow a whistle in class when a student is doing something wrong, an employee is blowing the whistle on their employer when the employer’s conduct is considered to be inappropriate. Usually this conduct has a negative impact on the employees in some manner or may have a negative impact on entities outside of the business, such as the government.
When the government is involved, fraudulent activity against them is a violation of the False Claims Act. If an employee sees fraudulent activity within their company that causes losses for the government, the employee can consult a lawyer about what they saw. If no one else has come forward with the same claims or similar claims, this officially makes the employee a whistle blower. The whistle blower then has the opportunity to file what is called a Qui Tam lawsuit against their employer. The Qui Tam lawsuit is filed by the informer on behalf of the government.
“If an employee sees fraudulent activity within their company that causes losses for the government, the employee can consult a lawyer about what they saw. If no one else has come forward with the same claims or similar claims, this officially makes the employee a whistle blower.”
If the whistle blower is able to go ahead with the Whistle Blower claim, there are several things that happen: First, they receive protection against retaliation from their employer so they cannot be discriminated against in any way. In other words, the informer/employee cannot be treated any differently than how they were treated before blowing the whistle. Realistically, blowing the whistle and filing the Qui Tam suit is in the best interest of coworkers because committing fraud against the government is serious business.
If the Qui Tam lawsuit is won, then the informer will still receive the appropriate protection under the False Claims Act as well as receiving 10 to 30 percent of the amount of money recovered by the government as a reward for the risk involved in blowing the whistle against their employer’s fraudulent activities.
Yes, being a whistle blower can be very stressful, as is the entire Qui Tam lawsuit procedure. Miller & Hampton can support you through the process. Contact us so we can determine if you have a case and then take it to the next level. Together we can put a stop to the fraudulent activity and protect our hard earned public funds. It is thanks to people like you who do what is right in preventing or stopping fraud against our government.
Some sources of employment law to keep in mind.
- Federal constitution (usually only as to state public sector or federal employees and employers).
- State constitution (usually only as to state and local government employees and employers).
- Federal statutes such as Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and so on. Workers’ Compensation Act.
- Louisiana generally has statutes & case law that are similar to the federal statutes, but similar does not mean exactly the same.
- Federal administrative regulations or rules adopted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor (DOL), and other agencies.
- Federal court decisions.
- State court decisions.
- Contracts between employers and employees.
- Collective bargaining agreements between unions and employers.