Take Advantage of Whistleblower Compensation

woman in a crowdBlowing the whistle on workplace misconduct takes courage. Employees who do so regularly face extreme negative reactions from their employers, including termination. With years of experience in pursuing legal action in employment law, attorney Chris Olsen can make sure that you receive the whistleblower compensation you deserve. During a free consultation at his San Diego, CA, practice, Mr. Olsen can determine if you have a case. If you have experienced retaliation for reporting misconduct, Mr. Olsen can file a lawsuit on your behalf and help you collect the damages you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

Because of the considerable backlash you can face as a whistleblower, building a strong case is of the utmost importance.

Whistleblowing Basics

Whistleblowing refers to reporting workplace misconduct including fraud, discrimination, and sexual harassment

Fraud resulting in acquisition of federal funds carries special considerations. Individuals or entities can overcharge the government for services, or make up claims completely. Even when the government is aware of the fraud, there may not be enough resources to pursue every single case.

While fraud is hard to completely eliminate, the False Claims Act (qui tam law) helps to counteract this lack of resources. Under qui tam, civilians or entities who can prove fraud against federal programs or contracts can sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the US government. While the government has the right to intervene on a case and pursue action, many plaintiffs pursue charges entirely on their own.

Although the False Claims Act is a federal law, a number of states – including California – have passed similar laws that allow citizens or entities to pursue legal action on the state government’s behalf.

Calculating Rewards

Determining the amount of damages to which you are entitled depends on many factors, including the amount of pay you would have received had retaliation not occurred, as well as the amount of pay you would have earned in the future. Any pain or suffering you experienced as a result of retaliation can also influence the amount of damages you can collect. In some cases, whistleblowers can collect "liquid damages," which usually equal double back pay.

If a case involves reporting wrongful acquisition of federal funds, special policies apply as an incentive to whistleblowers. A company that has submitted a false claim to the federal government must pay back three times what it has taken, as well as a civil penalty of between $5,500 and $11,000 per claim. When the government intervenes in these cases, the whistleblower can collect 15 to 25 percent of the total. If it does not, compensation increases to 25 to 30 percent. 

For example, a hospital might submit 2000 false claims to Medicare, requesting $500 each for services that were not given to patients. If an employee at this hospital files a whistleblower lawsuit, the government can collect three times the total of these false claims, plus $5,500 to $11,000 per claim. 

Using these numbers, the calculations would be:

Three Times the Amount Defrauded: 2000 x $500 x 3 = $3,000,000

Minimum Civil Penalty: 2000 x $5,500 = $11,000,000

Total Value of Whistleblower Lawsuit = $14,000,000

Whistleblower’s Reward = $2,100,000 – 4,200,000

The whistleblower in a case like this may also be awarded additional compensation for any losses relating to retaliation.

Reach Out Today

Because of the considerable backlash you can face as a whistleblower, building a strong case is of the utmost importance. Contact us today to learn how Chris Olsen can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

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