The False Claims Act (“FCA”) is a federal law that imposes liability on those who defraud the federal government. The FCA is the federal government’s primary legal method of combating fraud against the government. A person who files a lawsuit under the FCA, also known as a whistleblower, may be entitled to up 30% of all proceeds recovered in the action. Below are some answers to common FCA whistleblower questions.
Answers to the most common FCA whistleblower questions
When does the FCA protect a whistleblower against retaliation?
Yes, the FCA protects whistleblowers from retaliation in many forms, including:
What does the FCA protect?
The FCA protects lawful acts performed in furtherance of an action under the FCA and additional efforts to stop one or more violations of the FCA.
What types of disclosures by whistleblowers are protected under the FCA?
Examples of disclosures that are protected under the FCA include:
- Cooperating in an investigation
- Reporting the payment of kickbacks by employers to refer patients for reimbursable services
- Reporting double-billing of Medicaid or Medicare
- Reporting the sale of defective products to the federal government
- Refusing to follow an order by an employer to upcode
- Opposing the fraudulent inducement of a contract
- Disclosing the rigging of bids
- Reporting manufacturing violations
- Trying to prevent a provider from billing Medicaid for medical services that aren’t necessary.
What types of retaliation are prohibited by the FCA?
Under the FCA, an employer may not discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or discriminate against a whistleblower. Prohibited retaliatory actions include:
- Constructive discharge
- Retaliatory lawsuits
What must a whistleblower prove to be successful in an FCA whistleblower retaliation case?
In order to be successful in an FCA whistleblower retaliation case, a whistleblower must prove that:
- He or she engaged in protected activity under the FCA
- His or her employer took an adverse employment action against him or her
- The employer took the adverse employment action because of the whistleblower’s protected activity.
What compensation is a whistleblower entitled to under the whistleblower-protection provision of the FCA?
A whistleblower who prevails in an FCA whistleblower case may be entitled to:
- Double backpay
- Litigation costs
- Attorney fees
- Other noneconomic damages suffered from the retaliation.
Begin Your False Claim Act Lawsuit Today
If you have knowledge that a person or entity has committed fraud against the U.S. government, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you need to act fast. The False Claims Act is a “first to file” statute, which means that only the whistleblower who first reports the fraud to the government is entitled to a whistleblower reward. Therefore, if you have information that may help the government recover funds that were fraudulently obtained, please contact our False Claims Act attorney as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of financial compensation.