Whistleblower/False Claims Act/Qui Tam
What is a “whistleblower”?
While the precise definition varies somewhat by statute, the term “whistleblower” generally refers to an employee who opposes, refuses to participate in, reports, or threatens to report an activity by the employer that violates a law, rule or regulation. Opposition to practices that are unethical, but do not violate any specific law, rule or regulation, generally does not trigger whistleblower protection.
What rights do whistleblowers have?
Several statutes protect whistleblowers from retaliation such as demotion, unwanted transfer, reprimands, and discharge.
Are there any other forms of retaliation that are prohibited?
Florida law protects employees from retaliation in a number of circumstances. For example, employers may not retaliate against employees for filing workers compensation claims, attending jury duty, responding to a subpoena to testify in court, or supporting a particular political party or candidate.
Who is a potential “whistleblower” under the False Claims Act?
A whistleblower under both federal and state False Claims Acts, also referred to as Qui Tam actions, are private individuals who are aware of fraud being committed against the Government. The whistleblower may become involved in litigation on behalf of the Government to recover the fraudulently obtained funds and potentially share in the recovery of such funds.