Some whistleblower laws allow for compensation to be paid to the whistleblower who comes forward and reports the wrongdoing, under certain conditions. One federal law known as the False Claims Act provides whistleblowers entitlement to compensation for their service to the government, if they meet the requirements of the law.
What is the False Claims Act?
Also commonly known as the “Lincoln Law,” the False Claims Act is a federal statute that exists to bring legal actions against individuals, companies, or entities who submit false claims for payment to the federal government, or defraud the federal government. Claims under the False Claims Act can involve the following types of activities:
- Price fixing/overcharging
- Failing to provide a purchased or believed to be purchased item or service
- Cheating consumers out of the full amount or extent of an item or service purchased
- Knowingly using inferior/unsafe materials, or selling inadequate goods or services
- False advertising
- Bypassing or disregarding state or federal regulations, or other types of lack of compliance
- Delivering products or services other than those purchased
The law stipulates that individuals with knowledge of false or fraudulent activity, including employees of companies engaged in the fraud, can file a claim against their employers under the qui tam provision and on behalf of the government and receive a portion of whatever the government recovers as a result of the case.
How much compensation is a whistleblower entitled to?
Depending on the circumstances of the case and the government’s decision to get involved, you could collect anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the total amount you help recover. As you and your attorney build your case, you’ll likely present your findings and testimony to the government, giving them the option to take on the case themselves, join in on your efforts, or decline to get involved. If you choose to proceed with your case despite their refusal and win your case, you would likely be entitled to a larger percentage than if the government intervened early on.
Other factors that may influence your compensation include the following:
- Timeliness of reporting
- Usefulness of information provided
- Potential complicity/involvement in fraud before whistleblowing
- Quality of legal representation
Regardless, even at the lowest end, 15 percent could amount to a significant total, considering companies defrauding the government are liable for three times the amount they defrauded, plus as much as $11,000 in penalties per count of fraud/false claims.
Consult a skilled employment attorney for help with your whistleblower case
Having the right whistleblower lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in the amount of compensation you recover as a whistleblower in a False Claims Act case. With more than 20 years of experience, the attorneys of Madsen, Prestley & Parenteau LLC are here to facilitate your case and protect your wellbeing.
Call our Hartford, CT office at (860) 246-2466, or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.