Edisto Contractors Need Whistleblower Protections During Qui Tam Lawsuits
If you work for a government contractor, you may have noticed suspicious dealings involving federal or state dollars. This could mean you have witnessed fraud against the government, which is important information during a qui tam lawsuit.
Qui tam laws were created to allow citizens with direct knowledge of fraudulent practices against the government to file a lawsuit, and the state or US government can join if there is enough evidence that tax payer dollars were misused. However, there are specific rules for qui tam lawsuits, which protects businesses who work with the government from employee retaliation.
Defining Points of Qui Tam Lawsuits According to South Carolina Law
The most important part of a qui tam lawsuit is the whistleblower’s first-hand, direct knowledge of fraud against the government. You cannot use rumor, hearsay, or vague information to blow the whistle; knowledge of fraudulent practices against the government must identify the “who, what, when, and where” of the fraud.
You also cannot use “publically disclosed information.” This means that you cannot read a newspaper article or see a disclosure on TV that asserts your employer defrauded the government. Your knowledge must be original, detailed, and first-hand.
In addition, mismanagement or waste of government money does not count as fraud under qui tam laws. While these practices are concerning, the False Claims Act specifically states that using government money for fraudulent practices – such as filing false claims with Medicare to receive money for services never performed – is illegal and can be prosecuted through whistleblower lawsuits.
I Directly Witnessed Fraud Against the Government and I Need Help
If you have directly witnessed your employer defrauding the government of state or federal dollars, then you should consider blowing the whistle and filing a qui tam lawsuit. The South Carolina qui tam and whistleblower protection attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer a free case evaluation to discuss your evidence, and if retained, we can help you file the qui tam lawsuit and protect your rights during the trial. Contact us today for help.
Cayce Employees Fear Losing Jobs Over Qui Tam Lawsuits
As an employee, you want to do well at your job. This means you want your employer to like you and appreciate the work you put in. However, if you find evidence that your company is misusing government funds, you may not know how to proceed. You know that the practice is illegal, but you don’t want to lose your job.
If you chose to file a qui tam lawsuit, and become a whistleblower, then you may be afraid of retaliation. It is important to know that the False Claims Act, as well as state laws including in South Carolina, protect you as an employee from retaliation, including being fired, for blowing the whistle on government fraud at your job.
South Carolina Qui Tam Laws Protect Whistleblowers from Retaliation
South Carolina is a “right to work” state, which means that you can be fired or let go from a position of employment for any reason, and your employer does not have to tell you why. Although “any reason” can seem terrifying, because you do not want to lose your job, this is not entirely the case. If you file a qui tam lawsuit and become a whistleblower against your current company, it is illegal at both the state and federal level for your employer to fire you for this reason.
If you have witnessed government fraud at your job and you believe you have been fired because you brought this fraud to the attention of your employer, this can become part of your qui tam lawsuit. You do not have to retain an attorney to help you with your qui tam filing, but a whistleblower attorney can help you understand your rights during a qui tam proceeding and help protect you against employer retaliation.
I Was Fired for Noticing Government Fraud at My Job!
If you believe your employer fired you because you brought government fraud or waste to their attention, you could be eligible to fire a qui tam lawsuit, and that retaliation could become evidence in the lawsuit. The South Carolina qui tam and whistleblower protection attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer a free case evaluation to discuss the events leading up to your qui tam filing, and if retained, we can help protect your legal rights to keep your job and file a lawsuit in keeping with the False Claims Act. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800
Richland County Employee Needs to File Qui Tam Lawsuit
“Qui tam” is the legal term for a whistleblower lawsuit. The phrase “qui tam” is a shortened version of the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning “[he] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.” This type of lawsuit is intended to allow citizens who have direct knowledge of business practices that defraud the government to bring their case forward and allow a state or federal government to prosecute those who waste tax payer dollars.
Whistleblower lawsuits can involve money from the food stamp program, Medicare or Medicaid, payments to government contractors (such as defense contractors), or even the postal service. Any waste of government money can lead to a whistleblower or qui tam lawsuit.
South Carolina Has Protections for Whistleblowers Filing Qui Tam Lawsuits
Private citizens, known as “relators” or “whistleblowers,” can file a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, which gives federal protection to individuals who sue on behalf of the US Government or a state government. Qui tam lawsuits have been very successful at stopping fraudulent use of government funds, especially involving businesses.
If you believe that you have direct, first-hand evidence of fraudulent practices involving government funds, you may have a qui tam lawsuit. While you do not need an attorney to help you file the lawsuit, a qui tam attorney understands the intricacies of both state and federal protections for whistleblowers, so it is a good idea to get legal representation.
I Think I’ve Witnessed Fraud Against the Government At My Job
If you believe that you have experienced, directly, fraudulent practices that waste state or federal government funds at your place of employment, you may be eligible to file a qui tam lawsuit. The South Carolina qui tam and whistleblower protection attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We understand the details of both South Carolina’s and the federal government’s protections for whistleblowers, and can help you file your qui tam case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.