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How the False Claims Act protects whistleblowers

If you see wrongdoing at your company, you might understandably be hesitant to report it to your superiors or the authorities. Throughout recent history, many of those who report fraud, corruption or illegal activity at their places of employment have suffered negative consequences. These whistleblowers might have been demoted, transferred to an unfavorable facility, lost benefits or lost their jobs. Some have even been threatened with jail or been made to feel as if their lives were at risk. You and other Georgia residents should be able to right a wrong without having to fear the consequences.

The False Claims Act is a law meant to protect you and others who report a person or organization that is defrauding the U.S. government.

An explanation of fraud against the government

Because of its many social programs and rules governing safety and work standards, there are many opportunities for the more unscrupulous among us to take advantage of the government for financial gain. One of the most common ways you might see this happen is when someone commits welfare or Social Security fraud. For example, an elderly woman receiving disability benefits has died, but her son conceals this from the government and continues to receive her benefit checks.

Filing a qui tam claim

If you know someone is committing fraud in this way, you may bring a qui tam lawsuit against the other person on behalf of the U.S. government. You are called the relator in such a case, while the government is the plaintiff. If the case is successful and results in damages being awarded to the government, you are eligible for a portion of the rewards. In this way, the False Claims Act not only legally protects you, the whistleblower, from retaliation, but gives you and others an incentive to report wrongdoing that you witness.

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