Employees who learn of fraud or other illegal activities of their employer frequently are troubled with the unlawful conduct, but may not know what they can do. Many state and federal laws provide workers with protections for reporting illegal activity in the workplace. The Federal and California False Claims Act allow workers who discover fraud against the government to bring a lawsuit to recover damages.
If you are aware that your employer has submitted false invoices related to a government contract or otherwise cheated the government, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government. Typical examples of federal false claims include:
The California False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to bring a claim against an individual or company that has committed fraud on the state or a political subdivision, including counties, cities or towns. In both state and federal qui tam claims, the whistleblower is rewarded with a percentage of any money recovered through the lawsuit. The state and federal government relies on concerned workers to uncover acts of fraud that can cost taxpayers significant sums of money. An employer is prohibited from retaliating against a worker who raises a qui tam complaint (or for that matter any whistleblower complaint). Job protection extends to many situations where an employer may suspect that a whistleblower will raise an external complaint of wrongdoing against the company.
At the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak in San Francisco and Los Angeles, we offer confidential and ethical guidance for workers who are aware of unlawful conduct in the workplace. In addition to qui tam lawsuits, we are well-prepared to explain your rights and responsibilities in whistleblower cases involving public policy violations.
Oftentimes, workers are hesitant to report unsafe work conditions, deceptive business practices and other unlawful conduct out of fear for their jobs. When you arrange your free consultation, our employment law attorneys will assess your unique circumstances and advise you on the steps to help you protect your rights — and dignity — in obtaining a remedy for your employer’s wrongdoing.