The False Claims Act – Who Can Be a Whistleblower?
Whistleblowers are people who come forward to disclose evidence they have of wrongdoing. The whistleblower does not have to be personally harmed by the actions of the defendant. In most cases, the action is based on the whistleblower’s direct and independent knowledge of the wrongdoing.
The most common whistleblowers are:
Current Employees: Employees often bring an action after trying to stop the fraud or misconduct through internal company channels, although they may bring an action even if they were involved in the wrongdoing or did nothing to stop it. Employees who file a qui tam action are protected from retaliation under the False Claims Act.
Former Employees: Many qui tam actions are brought by people who have lost their jobs because of their efforts to stop their employers’ wrongdoing.
Competitors: Through interaction with rival businesses, competitors may have first-hand knowledge of false claims submitted to the government.
Contractors or Subcontractors: While working closely with others on projects, contractors and subcontractors may come across information about fraud or wrongdoing against the government.
Because the person bringing the lawsuit does not need to have a specific type of relationship with the wrongdoer, this list is not inclusive. Whistleblowers are people who can’t stay silent about wrongdoing and they play a critical role in letting the government know:
- that a law has been broken
- that a rule or regulation has been violated
- that a government contractor has cheated on a contract or misused government funds
- that a company is lying about its financial situation or cheating on its taxes
- that a company has created a danger to public health and safety
The whistleblower lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard are dedicated to providing experienced, dedicated, and aggressive representation to whistleblowers looking to expose fraud and other wrongdoing. If you choose to blow the whistle on fraud against the government, our whistleblower lawyers will evaluate your case and help you comply with the various requirements of the False Claims Act. For more information contact Michael S. Bigin or Laurence J. Hasson.