Whistleblower Laws

Our Los Angeles Employment Attorney Explains

A past or present employee can obtain substantial monetary or personal rewards by reporting a company that has cheated the federal government through the False Claims Act. Under this federal law—or a corresponding California law for when a company is cheating the state government—the “whistleblower” may receive up to a third of any monetary value the government recovers from the company. The two requirements of the False Claims Act are that the government suffered from financial loss and that the whistleblower is the first to report it.

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The following examples of False Claims Act cases occurred this year and include the amounts the government recovered:

  • Jan. 6: a $500,000 settlement with an importer of shipping bags, resolving allegations that the importer submitted false invoices to pay less in customs.
  • Fe. 2: a $75 million settlement with three affiliated hospitals in New Mexico, resolving allegations that they violated a prohibition on “donating” funds to pay the state share of Medicaid payment to the hospitals.
  • Feb. 24: a $550,000 settlement with a physician, resolving allegations that the physician billed government health care programs for administration of drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Feb. 25: a $123.5 million settlement with a mortgage lender, resolving allegations that the lender falsely certified that federally insured mortgage loans complied with underwriting and quality control requirements.
  • May 21: a $3.8 million settlement with the owner, operator and manager of two nursing homes, resolving allegations that the nursing homes provided substandard or worthless services by overmedicating residents: the defendants also entered into a corporate integrity agreement.
  • June 1: a $212.5 million settlement with another mortgage lender, resolving allegations that the lender falsely certified that federally insured mortgage loans complied with underwriting and quality control requirements.
  • June 24: a $450 million settlement with a provider of dialysis services, resolving allegations that the provider manipulated dosing to create unnecessary drug waste and billed the government for the wasted amounts.
  • June 29: a $550,000 settlement with a hospital system, resolving allegations that the system’s physicians failed to supervise radiation therapy treatment a required.
  • June 30: a $75.5 million settlement with a software contractor, resolving allegations that the contractor overcharged the government and misrepresented its commercial price.

Because of the very substantial rewards and the “first to report” requirement, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney as soon as you can. If you wait, someone else can make the claim and not include you.

Have questions? Get answers to whistleblower FAQ here.

Protection for Whistleblowers

There are various federal and California laws that protect whistleblowers against retaliation, such as wrongful termination, but do not offer a monetary reward. For example, when an employee is told to ignore quality control standards which may result in a dangerous product or in an ineffective treatment of a patient, the whistleblower should report the matter to management. If management does not resolve the problem, the whistleblower may make a report to a government agency.

Legal Advocacy from a Harvard Attorney

If you are an employee to a company that is cheating the government or producing dangerous services or products, you should feel obligated to report it. You can feel protected, not only knowing that government laws will protect you from retaliation, but that a skilled Los Angeles employment lawyer is on your side. At Alan Burton Newman, PLC, we care about our clients and strive towards their best interests. We can help represent you in your whistleblower case and help you get the reward you deserve.

If you have questions about laws that protect whistleblowers or how you can report a company in Los Angeles, contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC today!