Companies who contract with the federal government provide important goods and services to American taxpayers, and have an obligation to refrain from fraud, abuse, and misconduct in the use of government funds. Employees who report or oppose violations of law by their employer protect the interests of taxpayers, as well as the financial well-being of their companies. When you blow the whistle on misconduct, you may face retaliation from management for exposing illegal practices. Retaliation can not only damage your professional relationships and prospects with your current employer; it can also have serious economic consequences, including negative effects on your career going forward.
What Laws Protect Government Contractor Whistleblowers?
A number of federal and state laws prohibit retaliation against government contractor whistleblowers, with varying terms as to whom they protect, the requirements for bringing a claim, and the remedy they provide to whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation. Some of the most important laws protecting government contractor whistleblowers include:
False Claims Act (FCA)
The FCA prohibits the submission of false claims for payment to the federal government. The statute allows individuals to bring qui tam suits in which whistleblowers can qualify for a percentage of funds recovered by the government against companies or individuals, and also protects whistleblowers from retaliation who investigate or try to stop fraud by their employers. An employee is not required to show that his employer actually made false or fraudulent claims for payment from the government. Rather, an employee must show that he or she is investigating or reporting matters that could reasonably lead to a meritorious qui tam case.
National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA)
The NDAA permanently covers all employees of Defense Department contractors, subcontractors or grant recipients, and covers the same universe for all other non-intelligence community contracts or grants. The NDAA whistleblower protection provisions state that employees of defense contractors are protected from retaliation for providing information that the employee reasonably believes constitutes evidence of illegality, gross waste, gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. The legislation also extends those protections to whistleblowers who were retaliated against by a contractor at the government’s direction. The NDAA protects whistleblowers whether they report their concerns internally or to an appropriate government agency. In many cases of reporting fraud against the government, whistleblowers may be entitled to a reward entitling them to up to 30 percent of any government recovery that comes as a result of their reporting.
In addition to these federal laws, many states have passed statutes very similar to the False Claims Act. Read more about state-specific False Claims statutes here.
Why Hire Katz Banks Kumin for Your Government Contractor Whistleblower Case?
The attorneys of Katz Banks Kumin have successfully represented numerous government contractors who have suffered retaliation for blowing the whistle on misconduct by their employers. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle on illegal activity, or if you already have and are experiencing reprisal, contact the experienced lawyers at Katz Banks Kumin. Your communications with us are confidential and without charge or further obligation.