As a sales consultant, finding out your employer has committed fraud can be distressing. After all, while you may want to report your employer’s activities to the appropriate federal agency you may fear that doing so will cost you your job. If you find yourself in such a position it is important that as a “whistleblower” who has filed a qui tam action you are protected from workplace retaliation.
What is a “qui tam” action?
Under the False Claims Act a worker can file a lawsuit against their employer on the government’s behalf if the employer has allegedly done something illegal such as committing fraud. This is known as a “qui tam” action. If the worker is successful in their claim against their employer and the government intervenes and pursues the case, then the worker will receive between 15% and 25% of the final award. If the government does not intervene and the worker continues to pursue the claim on their own, then the worker will receive up to 30% of the money awarded to the government if the claim is successful.
Can your employer punish you for filing a qui tam action?
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against workers who file a qui tam action. This means an employer cannot fire, demote, threaten, harass or discriminate against an employee who lawfully files a qui tam action. If retaliation occurs the worker will be reinstated to their former position and may be eligible for two times the amount of back pay including interest as well as compensation for special damages.
Learn more about qui tam lawsuits
Filing a qui tam claim can be complex as certain procedures must be followed that most workers simply are not familiar with. It is important to work with a professional who understands the laws regarding qui tam actions and retaliation. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who are interested in learning more about qui tam actions or believe they were retaliated against for filing one may find our firm’s website to be a useful source of information.