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How to Be An Anonymous Whistleblower

At Berger & Montague, we know from experience that one of the biggest concerns potential whistleblowers have is whether they'll be able to remain anonymous throughout the whistleblower process. Retaliation from employers is a very real fear, and potential whistleblowers want to be sure they won't face workplace retribution after bringing a false claims action against their company.

While a whistleblower can remain anonymous up to a certain point in the process, if the government decides to pursue an action under the False Claims Act (FCA), the whistleblower's identity will be revealed. However, there are steps you can take to be an anonymous whistleblower for as long as possible.

Don't report the fraud or misconduct internally

This may seem obvious, but it's much harder to remain an anonymous whistleblower when you report your concerns to your company rather than going directly to the appropriate government agency. Even if you contact your company anonymously, there's a chance they could discover that you're the whistleblower.

The best course of action is to retain a whistleblower lawyer and report the fraud or misconduct directly to the government. A whistleblower lawyer will help navigate the whistleblower system and ensure you take full advantage of the numerous protections and rewards offered under various whistleblower laws. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers can even make an anonymous submission through their attorney, so that even the government doesn't know the whistleblower's identity.

What happens after a whistleblower reports the claim?

Under the FCA, the whistleblower's complaint will remain under seal for 60 days. This allows the government to investigate the claim without anyone knowing about it. The government routinely asks for seal extensions, and the period of investigation can easily last a year or longer. The whistleblower remains anonymous during this time.

At the end of the investigation, the government will decide whether it wants to pursue the whistleblower's action. If so, the whistleblower's identity will be revealed.

Is a whistleblower entitled to any protections once their identity is revealed?

Yes. The FCA contains an anti-retaliation provision that prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee "because of lawful acts done by the employee…in furtherance of an action." 31 U.S.C. §3730(h).

Prohibited retaliation includes:

  • Termination
  • Suspension
  • Demotion
  • Harassment
  • Any other discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment

If a company violates the FCA's anti-retaliation provisions, they will be required to reinstate the whistleblower at the same level of seniority and pay two times the amount of back pay.

Contact Us To Learn More

If you have discovered evidence of government fraud, contact an experienced False Claims Act attorney before blowing the whistle. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and the legal protections afforded to whistleblowers under state and federal laws. The attorneys of Berger & Montague are nationally recognized experts in Whistleblower/Qui Tam actions with over a decade of experience pursuing these complex fraud cases. For more information or to schedule your confidential consultation, use the form on this page or call us at 1-800-424-6690.

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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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