A whistleblower is an individual who discloses information on illegal activities within an organization. Whistleblowers usually are people employed in a private enterprise or state agency who exposes to the public dishonesty, illegal actions, mismanagement, and many other related issues.
In other words, a whistleblower (also known as relator) is the one who has insider information of a fraud against the government and files a suit in order to help stop wrongdoers from defrauding the government.
Such wrongdoings typically include a violation of a regulation, law or a threat to public like corruption, fraud, health violation, etc.
Today whistleblowers are protected according to federal and state regulations that have been enacted specifically for this purpose. Also, even without those regulations there are multiple decisions aimed to encourage and protect individuals in qui tam lawsuits.
The False Claims Act, an American federal law, allows individuals not affiliated with the government to file a claim through his/her qui tam lawyer against federal contractors who commit fraud against the government.
No organization, no matter how effective, is above the law. However, far a lot of services are able to perform prohibited activities by concealing their transactions in layers of scams and adjustment. When their actions involve defrauding the federal government, by underpaying taxes, for example, staff members who become aware of illegal activity stand to gain from “blowing the whistle” on the business’s actions.
Employees who have the chance to report their company’s prohibited negotiations are frequently afraid for their job security. They wonder what the effects may be. To create an incentive for whistleblowers, the federal government has actually passed laws offering special defenses to them, along with considerable monetary payouts. Whistleblowers stand to receive 15-30% of the damages granted to the government in a successful case. When it comes to major corporations, this can suggest tens of countless dollars.
In addition to monetary gain, whistleblowers also receive considerable legal defenses from possible vengeance attempts from their companies. Companies that have been found guilty of illegal actions typically attempt to penalize known whistleblowers, for instance, by campaigning to mess up the whistleblowers’ track records or trying to prevent them from discovering work. If you are considering reporting your employer’s activities, the federal government can secure you from their retaliation.
Because laws were first put in place to secure the rights of whistleblowers, such as the federal False Claims Act (FCA), the number of whistleblowers has actually increased drastically. By eliminating the barriers to reporting illegal actions to the government, these laws have triggered a remarkable increase in the variety of fraud cases reported to the government each year.
Do you know of any corruption or misconduct happening in your organization? Contact this hotline to speak to a whistleblowing expert.