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Can I Make My Whistleblower Case Public?

When you first discover that your company is committing fraud against the government, there's a natural desire to shout it from the rooftops. What's happening is wrong, and you want people to know.

However, it's important to fight that instinct. Rather than publicly denouncing the company, it's best to hire a qui tam attorney and file a complaint under the False Claims Act (FCA).

OK, I've filed the complaint. Now can I discuss the case?

No. Under the FCA, when a whistleblower reports a false claims action to the government, the complaint remains under seal for 60 days. This lets the government investigate the claim without anyone knowing about it. It's important to remember that this seal applies to you as well. Do not discuss the lawsuit with anyone other than your lawyer-violating the seal can cause your case to be dismissed.

Pro tip: beware social media. Posting online about the qui tam lawsuit also counts as grounds to dismiss the case. And remember that once something is posted online, anyone can find it. Your social media privacy settings will not stop people from seeing what you write.

So can I ever talk about the case?

Yes, eventually. At the end of the investigation, the government will decide whether it wants to pursue your action. At this point, you can publicly discuss that you filed the action.

Before talking about your qui tam lawsuit, however, make sure you meet with your lawyer and understand your rights. The FCA contains an anti-retaliation provision that prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for whistleblowing. Prohibited retaliation includes termination, suspension, demotion, harassment, or any other discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment.

What do I do if my employer retaliates against me?

If you believe you were retaliated against because of your qui tam case, most whistleblower and anti-retaliation laws require that you prove the following elements:

  1. That you engaged in protected activity or some other action to help enforce the law
  2. That your employer knew or believed that you engaged in this activity
  3. That you suffered an adverse employment action
  4. That your protected activity caused your employer to take adverse action

 

If you are retaliated against, it's important to report this action right away. There are statutes of limitations on when you can file a written complaint, so it's best to do it sooner rather than later.

Contact Us To Learn More

We invite you to learn more from our qui tam whistleblower lawyers about your rights as a whistleblower. For more information or to schedule a confidential discussion about a potential case, please fill out the form on the right. You can also call us at (800) 424-6690.

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Do you need a Whistleblower Lawyer or want to know more information about Qui Tam Law and your rights under the False Claims Act?

There are three easy ways to contact our firm:

  1. Use the contact form on this page ("Inquire About Your Potential Case")
  2. Email info@bm.net
  3. Call (800) 424-6690

Your information will remain confidential and we will work to protect your rights.


Additional information on Whilstblower/Qui Tam Laws, and the False Claims Act (FCA):

 


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