Whistleblower/False Claims Act Attorneys in New Jersey
Legal Protection for Workers in NJ & Philadelphia
The New Jersey whistleblower/False Claims Act attorneys at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. want you to know that coming forward benefits the public good, the government, and perhaps even other employees. The government also offers substantial incentives and legal protections to those who come forward with reliable information. However, there are important steps that must be followed in filing a claim under the False Claims Act. The person who reports the fraud must do so through a lawsuit filed through an attorney. The lawsuit must be the first to bring the allegations of fraud. If another person files a lawsuit that contains the same or similar allegations of fraud, your case can be dismissed. Do not discuss the allegations or report the allegations to anyone other than your attorney. Public disclosures of your allegations can be harmful to your claims.
At The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C., we are dedicated to helping employees hold businesses accountable for defrauding the government. If you have important information, share it with our experienced lawyers.
What is a Whistleblower?
If you have uncovered evidence that your employer or another company is defrauding the government, we understand that you may be reluctant to come forward with what you know. It is common for employees to fear retaliation from their employer and damage to their own reputation by being labeled as a whistleblower. We recognize that doing the right thing isn’t always doing the easy thing. Standing up for what is right can be difficult. Depending on the circumstances, it may also carry consequences for the person who, by all accounts, should be considered a hero. That’s why it takes courage to come forward and report companies or employers who are defrauding the federal government. These people are known as “whistleblowers,” and they play a critical role in making sure that companies are playing by the rules.
What is the False Claims Act?
The original False Claims Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Its original aim was to incentivize people to come forward with information about military contracting fraud during the Civil War. It has evolved over the years and been amended to become the predominant law pertaining to protecting whistleblowers. The False Claims Act is designed to hold both individuals and businesses accountable when they engage in defrauding the government or engaging in violations of the law.
The False Claims Act also offers protections to whistleblowers who report waste, fraud, abuse, and public health and safety violations. These protections include preventing whistleblowers from being harassed, threatened, demoted, wrongfully terminated, or discriminated against in any way.
What Does “Qui Tam” Mean?
Qui tam literarily translates to “in the name of the king.” It is a provision under the False Claims Act that allows for whistleblowers with evidence of fraud or wrongdoing to sue the violator on behalf of the U.S. Government. The government is given the option to intervene and join the suit, but if the government declines, the whistleblower is allowed to proceed with the case on their own.
Since it is an extremely difficult decision to come forward with information on fraud or legal violations for fear of retaliation, the False Claims Act includes financial incentives for whistleblowers. Those who choose to come forward with their information and pursue a case against a wrongdoer are entitled to a share of the financial recovery from a successful case. That could be anywhere from 15-30% of the total amount of damages recovered, and there is no cap on the amount of damages that you may receive.
The 15-30% of the total amount of damages recovered from a False Claims Act is not a drop in the bucket. Depending on your information and the type of company or business that is engaging in wrongdoing, compensation for whistleblowers may be enormous. This is due in part to changes made to the FCA in 1986, which amended the law to increase damages significantly for these types of cases. This was done to encourage more whistleblowers to come forward.
In the decades following 1986, whistleblowers have been responsible for 72% of the funds that have been recovered from fraud cases. Numbers from the Department of Justice show just how successful the FCA has been in getting people to talk about wrongdoing and fraud within companies: In 2019 alone, the department recovered $3 billion. Of that $3 billion, whistleblowers contributed to over $2.1 billion in the form of lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the FCA.
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