Austin Qui Tam Lawyers
The False Claims Act
The False Claims Act, sometimes called Lincoln’s Law, was passed in 1863 in response to rampant fraud during the Civil War. Army contractors and other private organizations cost both the Union and Confederate armies large sums of money by deliberately misleading them about the nature of goods and services.
The Act hoped to counteract this problem by giving employees both the legal right and an incentive to sue their employers for fraudulent crimes on behalf of the federal government. For the first time, a person did not have to be a federal employer in order to file a government fraud claim.
The Qui Tam Provision
Under the False Claims Act, the citizen filing a fraud suit against their company is called the relator. If the suit he or she files is successful, the relator may be entitled to 15 to 25% of the total damages awarded. This is intended to give people an incentive to face the career risks posed by exposing illegal practices committed by their own employers.
The Act also provides legal protection against retaliation for anyone who reports his or her employer’s fraudulent behaviors.
If your Employer Is Committing Fraud
If you are considering filing a suit against your employer because they are committing fraud against the federal government, there are certain facts you should know.
- There is a complicated process involved in bringing a suit under the False Claims Act. You must file a complaint, or lawsuit, in U.S. District Court in a sealed court (no members of the public or press can be present.)
- If you suffer retaliation because of your whistle-blowing, you may file another suit to win reinstatement at your job (if you have been terminated), damages, and double back pay.
- It is vital to have an experienced Austin qui tam attorney on your side, to help with your case and to make sure your rights are protected.
To speak to a knowledgeable Austin qui tam lawyer, call the offices of The Melton Law Firm at 512-330-0017.