It is not uncommon for an employee who is branded a rebel-rouser to be marginalized and ultimately fired for trying to expose corruption and fraud within a business. But a person who is viewed as a troublemaker could also be seen as a whistleblower. Some people in these positions may also go as far as volunteering as a plaintiff in a False Claims Act case.
Nevertheless, being a whistleblower is not easy; especially with the prospect of being fired hanging over one’s head. But even if a whistleblower is let go, The federal False Claims Act contains several protections and remedies. This post will highlight a few.
Reinstatement – An employee who has been fired or demoted could be restored to their former position. This would include all the previous benefits and salary the employee enjoyed before being terminated.
Increased back pay – Like many cases that are litigated to trial, False Claims Act claims take a long time to be resolved. As part of a back pay award, an aggrieved employee could receive double the salary he or she would have enjoyed if not fired for participating in investigation.
Special compensation – A fired employee could also seek litigation costs and attorney’s fees as special compensation in addition to back pay.
Whistleblowers should also know that a False Claims Act lawsuit does not prohibit them from seeking remedies under state based wrongful termination statutes or even anti-discrimination statutes. If you are considering being a part of a False Claims Act case or are being marginalized for your efforts to unearth fraud, an experienced employment law attorney can help.