A whistleblower is an individual that turns over evidence of wrongdoing to the government. Depending on the type of case, a whistleblower complaint could protect you from retaliation or even provide you with a monetary award. An experienced Quit Tam attorney could even help you pursue legal action directly against a government contractor that has committed fraud.
Becoming a whistleblower is an important decision. It comes with both rights and responsibilities, and it should be taken seriously. The good news is that you do not have to go through the process alone. A Charleston whistleblower lawyer could guide you on what to expect both before and after you file your complaint.
Whistleblower law come in many forms. Federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offer substantial monetary awards to whistleblowers that provide information on efforts to avoid tax liability or otherwise defraud the government. These awards are typically a percentage of any money recovered through enforcement actions and settlements.
There are also limited scenarios where an individual could file a lawsuit directly against a government contractor over allegations of defrauding the government. This is primarily done through something known as the False Claims Act. An experienced Qui Tam attorney in Charleston could help with these types of claims, given the unique requirements they bring.
There are strict limitations on the pursuit of whistleblower awards. First and foremost, benefits are only available for information that is voluntarily provided to a regulating agency. Information is voluntarily given when it is offered by a person before any formal request from a regulatory agency. This means simply complying with a request, subpoena, or court order to hand over documents or evidence of wrongdoing will not qualify for a whistleblower award. Whistleblower programs also require unique information. This means if another person has already provided the same tip, any subsequent reports will not qualify for whistleblower benefits or protection.
Some prospective whistleblowers might be put off by the prospect of reporting wrongdoing to the federal government. Some individuals fear retaliation, especially when they choose to report fraud or wrongdoing against their employer. Other individuals are concerned about facing public backlash or receive unwanted publicity.
Federal law provides some protections for both of these issues. With most forms of whistleblower, federal law prevents acts of retaliation from employers. In many cases, whistleblowers retain the right to pursue legal action against an employer for retaliating against them.
Whether or not a person can protect their identity by pursuing an anonymous whistleblower complaint depends on the specific program. Some government agencies require a person to identify themselves in order to recover compensation. Others will pay out an award to an anonymous whistleblower under certain circumstances. An experienced whistleblower attorney in Charleston could provide advice on when anonymity might be possible.
Serving as a whistleblower can be a long and time-consuming process. In many cases, these efforts could take years to ultimately pay off. Given the commitment, it is vital for you to ensure you take every step necessary to protect your rights and your privacy during your pursuit of a financial award.
A Charleston whistleblower lawyer could help you throughout each stage of the process. Call today to set up your initial consultation.