Qui tam lawsuits: on behalf of the federal government

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2021 | Whistleblower Protection

Not every working individual in the United States is routinely happy with what goes on at work, of course.

Some employees are harassed by managers or coworkers. Others are discriminated against because of a core attribute such as race, gender, age, national origin or religion. Strong federal, state and local laws exist that protect against such maltreatment and provide for meaningful legal remedies that secure damage recoveries for its occurrence.

Damage awards also come into play in instances where an employee – often linked with a private company, but also commonly working with a federal agency or department – spots and takes legal action against wrongdoing.

Qui tam litigation: whistleblower action targeting fraud

The term “qui tam” is a Latin phrase spotlighting an instance where an individual acts on behalf of both himself/herself and the government in a matter where the latter is wronged.

A national legal source addressing whistleblowing qui tam litigation notes that it applies in cases where concerned workers come forward to “expose fraud, corruption or other unlawful gain at the expense of the federal government.”

How the whistleblowing qui tam process unfolds

A qui tam action is initially kept under close wraps once filed, pending the government’s scrutiny of its details. An in-depth overview of whistleblowing activity relevant to federal fraud litigation notes that if the government moves on a claim, “it then takes over the action and has the primary responsibility for prosecution.”

Qui tam whistleblowers are not forgotten in the process. Their demonstrated integrity and the risks they often take to spotlight harm to the government are frequently recognized by sizable personal recoveries linked to collected damages.

A qui tam action can materially benefit the government, but it also comes with an element of risk (e.g., employer retaliation). Questions or concerns regarding the potential reporting of malfeasance that harms the public interest can be directed to a proven employment legal team.

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