Whistleblower Laws and Protections
Whistleblowers who come forward to report illegal or fraudulent activity by their employer are protected from their bosses’ retaliation by important statutes, including the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law, and New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The experienced team of whistleblower lawyers at Williams Cedar is dedicated to helping whistleblowers stand up to illegal and fraudulent activity and protecting their legal rights and careers.
False Claims Act and “Qui Tam” Claims
The federal False Claims Act provides a mechanism by which the federal government can recover damages and fines against government contractors who defraud the government in the provision of goods or services. It does so by permitting employees and other “insiders” of the fraudulent entity to expose the wrongful activity. The Act permits whistleblowers to receive a percentage of the funds collected by the government on the basis of the information brought to light by he whistleblower.
Some of the most frequent charges of fraud in recent years relate to defense contracts and healthcare claims involving Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The federal government and American taxpayers have been victimized by this type of fraud to the tune of billions of dollars. Williams Cedar has represented qui tam plaintiffs who have helped the government recover significant damages in federal court.
Types of Fraud Covered Under the False Claims Act and Qui Tam Lawsuits
The False Claims Act protects the government against fraud by government contractors that provide goods or services, or that provide goods or services to programs funded by the federal government. It also covers fraud by those that receive federal grants for research or services. These types of claims are called Qui Tam lawsuits and have been amended over the years to encourage employees with knowledge of fraudulent activity to come forward with that information. Qui Tam lawsuits that lead to the recovery of government funds entitle the whistleblower to a percentage of the funds collected. In some cases, whistleblowers have received settlements in excess of several million dollars.
Some of the most frequent charges of fraud and Qui Tam lawsuits in recent years relate to defense contracts and healthcare claims involving Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The federal government and taxpayers in the United States have been victims of this type of fraud that have led to spiraling taxes and healthcare costs. Whistleblowers that report this type of illegal activity can help stop those liable for the damages.
One of the most common types of fraud occurs when employers bill the government for services or products that were never delivered or that were not part of the federal contract. Many of those found guilty of fraud were billing Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary diagnostic tests and for tests that weren’t performed. Whistleblower lawsuits helped uncover physicians and healthcare providers that were prescribing medication in return for kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, or medical laboratories, and others that were double billing for the same services or products.
Government contractors have also been found guilty of similar fraudulent practices. Providing defective or inferior products or equipment, charging twice for goods or services performed, and falsifying research results to secure government funding are just some of the qui tam lawsuits brought forward in recent years. Millions of dollars in government funding have been recovered through these successful qui tam lawsuits.
Protection for Whistleblowers
The law protects whistleblowers from retaliation, termination, demotion, harassment, disciplinary action and discrimination. Under the False Claims Act, a plaintiff harmed by such employer misconduct can recover damages in addition to his or her “bounty” from the government’s recovery of damages. State laws like New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act and Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law provide similar protection in different contexts. Seeking the advice of an experienced whistleblower lawyer can insure that you meet deadlines applicable to claims under the statute, and that the evidence needed to substantiate the claim can be presented in the most effective manner.
Williams Cedar Advocates for the Rights of Whistleblowers
If you or someone you know is considering bringing a whistleblower lawsuit against an employer engaging in fraudulent or illegal activity, the experienced team of whistleblower lawyers at Williams Cedar will ensure that your legal rights are protected. Call us at 215-557-0099, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We can help you hold those responsible for the illegal activity liable and help you claim the maximum compensation available to you under the law.