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Your Protection as a Whistleblower

Privacy Protection: When reporting fraud, you do not need to disclose your identity unless you wish to. All information disclosed to the attorney representing you is subject to the attorney-client privilege, which means that it cannot be disclosed to any other party without your permission. You should therefore, only discuss this information with an attorney who is evaluating your case.

Job Protection: The Whistleblower Protection Act protects you from harassment, demotion and wrongful termination for reporting fraud. Because of the law, you can file a whistleblower claim knowing that you are protected from retaliation. Specifically,
In 1986, Congress added anti-retaliation protections to the False Claims Act. These provisions, which did not exist previously, are contained in 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3730(h):

Any employee who is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because of lawful acts done by the employee on behalf of his employer or others in furtherance of an action under this section, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in an action filed or to be filed under this section, shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole.

The protection against retaliation extends to whistleblowers whose allegations could legitimately support a False Claims Act case even if the case is never filed. The statute of limitations for Sec. 3730(h) claims is 6 years in most jurisdictions, but is currently shorter in California and a few other locations.

The whistleblower plaintiff is entitled to reinstatement with seniority, double back pay, interest, special damages sustained as a result of discriminatory treatment, and attorneys fees and costs. There is federal jurisdiction for these whistleblower claims. To establish a Sec. 3730(h) retaliatory discharge claim, the whistleblower must engage in conduct protected by the False Claims Act. Second, the courts require a showing that the defendant have some notice of the protected conduct that the whistleblower was either taking action in furtherance of a qui tam action or assisting in an investigation or actions brought by the Government. Finally, the whistleblower must show that the termination was in retaliation for the protected activities. A False Claims Act qui tam case can include whistleblower claims and other legal claims based upon other state and federal laws.

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Protection as a Whistleblower
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