We all heard about whistleblowing. But what is whistleblowing? What is whistleblower definition? – Whistleblowers are those who come forward to report violations on the part of their employers. Such violations can be related to safety, corruption, fraud, or abuse. It often happens when an employee refuses to violate the law and reports about it, or when an employee notices violations of law on the part of his or her employer and come forward to prevent illegal activities by reporting about them to appropriate authorities.
Under the New York False Claims Act, people can file qui tam lawsuits against people and companies that make false claims and in other ways defraud the state or local government. According to this law, whistleblowers who are filing qui tam lawsuits to fight these illegal activities may be eligible to get a share of the recovery.
The most common areas of fraud and related illegal activities are as follows:
- Government Contractor Fraud is one of the most common types of contractor frauds. It can be related to procurement, kickbacks, contract compliance and other violations.
- Defense Contractor Fraud is one of the widespread government contract frauds. It involves fraudulent activities related to supplying various equipment and weapons to the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Violation of GSA Contracts is another kind of widespread violations of government contracts rules. It involves failure to comply with “best pricing” requirements, price reduction requirement, or Federal Trade Agreements Act.
- Healthcare Fraud is one most common type of false claims. Whistleblower lawsuits or qui tam suits are usually filed against healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers. Healthcare frauds include fraudulent billing, inflating government compensation for medical services, falsifying information in order to obtain government grants or to be compensated in the framework of government research programs.
- Medicare and Medicaid Fraud is one of the widespread healthcare frauds. It involves various fraudulent activities related to Medicare and Medicaid programs.
- Environmental Fraud involves illegal activities on the part of contractors in violation of the federal and state environmental laws and regulations.
It is not always safe to become a whistleblower. The accused employers tend to dispute whistleblower’s truthfulness and motives and may retaliate. It is important to know that whistleblowers have rights. Both federal and state laws provide whistleblower protection from being fired or retaliated against by your employer for reporting about fraud, abuse, or other illegal activities to authorities. You should contact your employment attorney to learn more about your rights and your options to get protection.