Browner Law, PLLC, is experienced in handling claims under the False Claims Act. These matters are filed under seal and, unlike civil or criminal actions through various courts, they are not a matter of public record.
While an estimated 50 percent of American workers have witnessed employer misconduct — in the form of financial fraud, cheating on taxes, or violating safety or environmental regulations, for example — only about half of them even attempt to report it. Fewer still make any real progress toward resolution.
This does not mean these individuals are themselves dishonest or apathetic. What it signifies, rather, is the overwhelming scope of various laws enacted over the course of decades to protect “relators,” the generic term used in the legal profession to describe those known to the public at large as “whistleblowers.”
The False Claims Act (“FCA”) originally came into being in 1863. It was based on what Stephen Martin Kohn (Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and author of The Whistleblower’s Handbook) calls the “…medieval concept known as qui tam[.]” The full Latin phrase refers to those who bring a case on behalf of the government (literally, “our lord King”) as well as themselves.
In 1943, an effort was launched in Congress to repeal the FCA. While the act was not repealed, it was crippled by various amendments. The tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 triggered a resurrection of the protections afforded workers in reporting abuses, corruption, and infractions in the workplace.
As a result of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, relators can file qui tam claims anonymously, affording them another layer of protection from retaliatory action.