Whistleblower Protection


Transcript: What is called whistleblower protection under the federal False Claims Act. You probably haven’t heard of that act in specifics, but you’ve maybe heard of the term whistleblower. Well, here’s how that act developed. Basically, after the Civil War there was an effort to make sure there wasn’t a defrauding of the government as efforts were made to reconstruct the damages caused by the war. So, there is a very detailed act called the False Claims Act, which provides that if you have any information about any kind of a fraud that may be perpetrated against the federal government, under many circumstances you can be protected by whistleblower status. What does that do? That means you can be protected from losing your job. It also means you can sue as a friend of the government and recover a finder’s fee or a reward or a recovery fee for money that the government can recover. Now the Civil War is long past, and you might be thinking, how does this Act protect me in the present day and how does it deal with whistleblowers? Think of it this way. If you work for a hospital and you find that the hospital is excessively billing Medicare and billing them for things that haven’t been provided to patients simply to get money. That’s a fraud. That is something that you could seek whistleblower protection from. Your employer can be prevented from firing you and you can get a particular reward that is set forth in the statute. We talk about this because number one, it is important to eliminate fraud. Nobody wants to have the government paying for things that it shouldn’t be paying for and having people line their pockets illegally and fraudulently. And it is an appropriate thing for a citizen to do to try to prevent that. So that is why that Act has been around and has not been repealed, and in fact has been extended.