If you are a federal employee who has raised issues about the violation of a law, regulation or agency policy, or about government fraud, waste, or abuse to a supervisor, your employer can not retaliate against you. You are protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act. Impermissible retaliation includes a wide range of examples, from termination, demotions, failing to promote, poor performance reviews or giving you less appealing work assignments.
If this happens, you may be entitled to backpay, compensatory damages for psychological harm, and other relief, including reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs.
The False Claims Act makes it illegal for individuals or companies to defraud the federal government by making false claims, usually on federal government contracts. Qui tam plaintiffs under the False Claims Act are known as relators or whistleblowers. Under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act a plaintiff who is aware of fraud committed against the federal government, may sue. A successful qui tam plaintiff generally receives between 15-30% of the amount recovered. The amount awarded depends upon many factors, including whether the Department of Justice intervened.
False claims under the False Claims Act, include any fraud that results in financial loss to the government or induces the government to part with money improperly. Some common examples are:
- A contractor falsifies test results or other information regarding the quality or cost of products it sells to the government;
- A health care provider bills Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not provided or were unnecessary;
- A grant recipient charges the government for costs not related to the grant.