Are you looking for more information about FCA whistleblower protection? Becoming a whistleblower can be frightening. You know something is very wrong and you know you must report it, but what about your job? What about your income? Fortunately, you’re backed up by FCA whistleblower protection.
How Does FCA Whistleblower Protection Affect You?
The top reason people don’t report offenses against the False Claims Act is fear of losing their job and income. They may also worry about other consequences. The FCA whistleblower protection law keeps you safe from any retaliation from your employer.
The Qui Tam law is the part of the law that allows you to bring a case to the government. It means you bring a case ‘on behalf of the king.’ Qui Tam laws have existed since the Middle Ages.
During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s government created the False Claims Act. This Act was to stop people who were selling unfit horses and faulty guns and ammunition to both sides. The Qui Tam law allows people who don’t work for the government to report offenses. The protection means people cannot lose their job for reporting fraud.
What Is the Legal Reach of FCA Whistleblower Protection?
The FCA whistleblower protection does not just apply to government workers. Whistleblowers can also be ordinary citizens who have discovered dishonesty or fraud. Here’s an example: Imagine you learn your neighbor is reporting to Medicare that they have a caretaker come into their home on a daily basis. They receive payment for those daily visits. As you live close by, you know the caregiver only visits two days a week.
You might hesitate to report this information due to potential retaliation from the neighbor. The FCA whistleblower protection makes sure no harm comes to a citizen who reports fraud.
What Protection Does The FCA Whistleblower Protection Law Provide?
The FCA Whistleblower Protection is there so you will not suffer any harm from reporting an offense. Although losing a job is the most common worry for whistleblowers, the law covers other things as well. For example:
● Your employer cannot stop you from using safety equipment at work
● Your boss cannot threaten you with losing your job
● Your employer cannot reduce your hours
● Your company cannot give you a pay cut
● Your employer cannot demote you
The customary criminal laws still apply. For example, if your employers threaten violence, they will face charges for that offense. These rules are important to remember if you have to report any fraud.
Will FCA Whistleblower Protection Keep Me from Financial Loss?
Yes. If the facts prove a whistleblower has lost their job or income due to reporting their employer, the law makes sure the worker gets their job back. It states you must return to a “superior position.” In other words, if they fire you, you will get your same job back. Your employer cannot hire you back in a lesser position.
For instance, if you were a manager, they could not take you back on as a laborer. They must return you to management. But if your employer fires you, it may take some time before you return to your job. Under the False Claims Act whistleblower protection law, you have the right to recover the wages you lost during this period. In most cases, the defendant is also responsible for your attorney’s fees.
The government has at least 60 days to investigate your claim. During this time, your name is confidential, protecting you from any repercussions. Many times, the initial 60 days is extended, by court order, for weeks or even months. The court seals the case while the investigation continues, so your employer does not know you made the accusation. In fact, your employer is not even aware of the investigation during this time.
As you don’t talk about the case, you will be safe. But when the investigation ends, your attorney cannot guarantee privacy. Your employer will likely discover you blew the whistle.
FCA Whistleblower Protection Provides You Safety
Congress introduced The False Claims Whistleblower Protection Act in 1989. They created the WPA so government workers could report dishonesty and fraud without fear of losing their job.
The Act also applies to ordinary citizens. In the case of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, often an employee will not report an offense. Instead, the whistleblower will be a neighbor or someone in the community that somehow becomes aware of an infraction. The Act protects these people from harm. When a contractor commits fraud against the government, it affects every citizen. The only way this illegal behavior stops is if ordinary citizens continue to report it.
The government understands there is a greater chance of people reporting fraud when they know they have protection. If you have knowledge of fraud, find out more about the FCA whistleblower protection by contacting the Bothwell Law Group.