Whistleblower Legislation

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Over the years, the US Congress and various state legislatures have drafted legislation to protect whistleblowers against retaliation. Most people are not familiar with the specifics of whistleblower protection laws, and it is not unusual for businesses and government agencies to ignore these protections in dealing with whistleblowers. That is why people with knowledge of illegal acts should speak with an experienced whistleblower lawyer before they go public with allegations of illegal acts if at all possible.

In 1986, Congress added whistleblower protections to the False Claims Act. The protection afforded by the False Claims Act extends to whistleblowers whose allegations could legitimately support a False Claims Act case even if the case is never filed. Under the False Claim Act, a whistleblower is entitled to reinstatement with seniority, double back pay, interest, special damages sustained as a result of discriminatory treatment, and attorneys fees and costs.

The whistleblower protections in the False Claims Act have been very effective in encouraging whistleblowers to come forward. Faced with the threat of both criminal investigations and civil whistleblower penalties, many entities facing whistleblower lawsuits are eager to settle these cases. The experience of a good whistleblower lawyer can be vital during such settlement negotiations.