In the United States, whistleblowers have certain protections under the law. The False Claims Act provides these protections and ensures people can make fraudulent violations against the government known without fear of retaliation.
It is important to understand the terms of the False Claims Act in case you ever witness fraudulent actions. This guide goes over a few critical basics.
How can a person violate the False Claims Act?
There are many examples of actions that count as violations. Overcharging the government for products or services rendered is a common violation, as is unlawfully increasing the amount of money owed. A person can also violate the act by providing an application for funds under false pretenses or providing goods for sale that are of lower quality than expected.
What is qui tam?
Qui tam is Latin for “in the name of the king.” This allows people who have witnessed fraudulent acts against the government to file suit on the government’s behalf. In some cases, the government may also participate in the suit the individual has filed. In others, the individual files suit on their own without government involvement.
Who is a relator?
Relator is another word for whistleblower. It is the person who makes the violation of the government known by filing a lawsuit on its behalf.
Are there any statutes of limitations?
There are a few deadlines to remember when it comes to violations. While you have ten years total to file, you should file within six years of the violation or within three years of the government knowing that a violation took place.
People filing these claims have whistleblower protection to safeguard them against employer retaliation. This makes them able to seek damages like back pay at double the rate, employment reinstatement, and special damages like attorneys fees.