The Federal False Claims Act (FCA) rewards and protects whistleblowers who expose companies and individuals that defraud the government. Companies and individuals in violation of the FCA may be required to pay three times the dollar amount that the government lost due to fraud (known as treble damages), as well as civil penalties of up to $22,000 for each false claim submitted to the government.

Under the FCA, whistleblowers can be awarded up to 30% of any funds the government recovers through a successful whistleblower lawsuit, or qui tam lawsuit. The FCA also protects whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers for reporting a fraud.

Compensation for Whistleblowers after Retaliation

Whistleblowers with retaliation claims may be entitled to monetary damages, in addition to any whistleblower reward. In a whistleblower retaliation claim, the whistleblower receives an award for the damages that the whistleblower personally suffered, which is intended to make the whistleblower whole. The government is not entitled to share in the damages that the whistleblower recovers from the retaliation claim.

A whistleblower who successfully brings a retaliation claim under the FCA may be entitled to be rehired at their job, receive two times the amount of back pay plus interest, and receive other special damages and attorneys’ fees. Many state false claims acts, such as the California False Claims Act, have similar damages provisions for retaliation.

Missouri’s Whistleblower Protection Law, for example, prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for reporting healthcare fraud. An employer who violates this law must reinstate the employee’s position without loss of seniority and pay two times the amount of lost back pay, plus interest.

Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Laws

The anti-retaliation provision of the FCA protects whistleblowers from being discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against by his or her employer for reporting the employer’s violations of the False Claims Act — including investigating, initiating, testifying, or assisting with a whistleblower lawsuit or investigation.

To make a whistleblower retaliation claim under the FCA’s whistleblower laws, an employee must demonstrate that:

  1. He or she engaged in “protected activity” (i.e. acts done in furtherance of a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act)
  2. He or she was discriminated against “because of” that activity

Explore a whistleblower retaliation claim:

Our whistleblower attorneys can help you, if you’ve been retaliated against by your employer for blowing the whistle. Consult us for free.

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Our Whistleblower Retaliation Attorneys

Eric Gibbs

Eric has served in leadership positions in a number of high profile, complex financial fraud class action lawsuits. He has been recognized as a Law360 MVP for Consumer Protection.

Steven Tindall

Steven Tindall has specialized in employment and class action litigation for over twenty years. He has been lead or co-lead counsel on several cases that resulted in settlements worth over $1 million.

Amy Zeman

Amy has built a reputation in the plaintiffs’ bar for delivering results and justice to consumers and sexual assault survivors in class action and mass tort litigation. The Daily Journal named her a Top Woman Lawyer in California for 2021.

Aaron Blumenthal

Aaron Blumenthal represents consumers, employees, and whistleblowers in class action and other complex litigation.

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