Whistleblowing is exposing secretive information or activity that is not proper, not correct, unethical, or illegal within a public or private organization. If you are a whistleblower, you are protected by certain laws while you reveal classified or private details about the organization. As a whistleblower, you are protected by specific laws that are designed to keep you from being wrongfully terminated, passed over for a promotion, lose overtime, or have your hours reduced or salary cut.
How To File A Lawsuit
If you are being punished for your whistleblower actions, you have rights and you can pursue a lawsuit against your employer for their violations of the Whistleblower Act. According to laws, they cannot retaliate against you for your actions. You will need to do the following before you get your whistleblower lawsuit filed:
- Be sure that you confirm there is an actual false claim
- Collect any essential evidence and supporting documentation
- Hire an experienced whistleblower lawyer
- File a whistleblower complaint that is sealed
- Offer to help the proper government agencies with the investigation
- Sit back and wait – you will need to be patient as these cases do take time
- Then you will want to collect the largest reward possible for your actions
The first step is to confirm that there is an actual false claim. This means that you will need to verify that the federal government is being defrauded by these acts. You can only recover a reward through the False Claims Act if you can point to a specific false claim that is made against the government. A false claim happens when the federal government is cheated out of money, such as by the submission of fraudulent invoices for payment or by the agency failing to pay the government what is owed.
The next step involves evidence. You should try to gather all the supporting evidence that you possibly can. The more evidence that you have to prove the fraud, the better off your claim will be. If you can determine there are evidence that reveal how the federal government is being cheated, try to get copies of them to provide when you file your complaint. Your lawyer will help you gather the evidence and put it together with your lawsuit when you initially meet with the government regarding the claim.
If you have reason to believe that a company is cheating a government agency, you should consult with a whistleblower attorney who can help you get everything together. A lawyer who handles lawsuits through the False Claims Act can determine if you have the evidence that is needed to get your claim filed and if your information qualifies you as a whistleblower per the federal laws.
The next step is to file a whistleblower lawsuit under seal. A qui tam lawsuit is filed in federal district court, and it is filed under seal. This means that the company committing the fraudulent acts will not be directly served with a copy of the lawsuit and instead, the government will receive a copy of the complaint. The government is given a 60-day period to conduct its investigation per the False Claim Act before they must serve the complaint on the defendant, which is your employer.
You should offer to help the government with their investigation into the matter. The government will investigate and then decide whether they should intervene. This is a crucial step in any whistleblower lawsuit. Your chances of recovery are significantly increased if the government decides they should intervene and go directly after the company that committed the fraudulent act. Your attorney plays a major role in the process and will make sure that the lawsuit has a strong foundation and that there is credible evidence to support your allegations. Your whistleblower attorney will maintain close contact with the government lawyers who are working on the case so there is adequate advice and help made available for the specific situation.
Remember that it can take a long time for a whistleblower lawsuit. You should be patient during this time. A case may be under sealed for years while it is being investigated by the government. If the case isn’t settled by the time the government intervenes, the case will advance to the litigation phase. It can take another year or so to advance to the trial phase.
Consult With A Whistleblower Lawyer
If you are interested in filing a whistleblower lawsuit, you should consult with a whistleblower attorney who is licensed in your state. Complete the free case evaluation form to have the details of your case reviewed by an attorney in your area.