Many state and federal statutes provide that an employer may not retaliate against an employee for having exercised their right to report certain types of fraud or other wrongdoing. The specific protection afforded to an employee as a “whistleblower” depends on the law or regulation that governs the wrongful conduct.
What is Retaliation?
Under the False Claims Act, retaliation occurs if an employee has been “discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment.” 31 USC § 3730(h)(1).
What is Protected Activity?
The False Claims Act protects “lawful acts…in furtherance of an action under [the FCA]” and “other efforts to stop 1 or more [FCA] violations.” 31 USC § 3730(h)(1). Courts have interpreted the statute to mean that activities such as reporting fraud to a supervisor, filing a whistleblower lawsuit, and assisting with a government investigation, are protected under the False Claims Act.
The False Claims Act
The False Claims Act (18 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.) allows private parties, usually current or former employees of an organization, to file a lawsuit that alleges the defendant defrauded the federal government. The False Claims Act also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who has engaged in conduct that is protected by the statute. If an employer retaliates against an employee because that employee engaged in protected activities, the employee may file a separate lawsuit for damages that result from the retaliatory conduct.
The False Claims Act provides for substantial damages when an employer illegally retaliates against an employee, including two times the amount of back pay, reinstatement or front pay in lieu of reinstatement, interest, compensation for special damages (such as emotional distress), and attorney’s fees and costs.
Contact Us Today
Sumner Schick has recovered millions of dollars for its clients who were retaliated against for exposing fraud. Our attorneys have experience navigating the complexities of whistleblower retaliation cases and the laws that govern them.
Sumner Schick prosecutes False Claims Act whistleblower retaliation cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no upfront cost to you. If your case is successful, Sumner Schick receives a percentage of the settlement or judgment as its fees. If there is no recovery, there is no cost to you.
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