What is a whistleblower?
According to the state of Nebraska's Government Effectiveness Act (aka
the "Whistleblower Act"), a whistleblower is anyone who comes
forward to report violations or potential violations at the workplace.
Employees are often afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation like
losing their job, losing benefits, or being harassed. Nebraska's whistleblower
act protects employees against such retaliation.
What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act is a federal statute found in 31 USC §§
3729 – 3733. The law dates back to 1863 and was passed so that suppliers
of goods couldn't defraud the U.S. Army. The law applies to employers
and other entities today, restricting them for knowingly submitting false
claims to the government. How does this relate to whistleblowers? If an
employee has evidence that their employer is submitting false claims to
the government, they can file a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. Government
– called a Qui Tam claim.
New Whistleblower Rules As of May 25, 2011
On May 25, 2011, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enacted a
change to current whistleblower compensation and protection laws. Employees
now have a stronger monetary incentive to make misconduct allegations,
meaning companies are under immense pressure to quickly and thoroughly
investigate to uncover any misconduct so they can correct it and report
it before a whistleblower does.
Who can receive compensation?
In order to receive compensation, a person must meet certain qualifications.
- An individual cannot share information under duress. They must do so voluntarily.
- An individual must share the information directly with a government agency
or self-regulatory organization like the SEC.
- The information must be firsthand information.
- Individuals who bring forth information that does not result in an enforcement
action against the employer will not receive compensation.
- If the evidence brought forth yields an enforcement action, the sanctions
must total $1 million or more.
I believe I have information. How do I report it?
If you believe you have sensitive information regarding a violation, you
must use something called a "Form TCR." If you would like to
remain anonymous, you can do so by having an attorney submit this information
on your behalf. Once a Form TCR has been submitted, the Department of
Justice will conduct an investigation for up to 60 days.
Domina Law Group's whistleblower lawyers help individuals who have alleged violations to report to the government.
Contact us today for help.