The United States has over 50 separate whistleblower laws, each different in scope and authority. Many whistleblower laws include a retaliation provision, which protects whistleblowers from adverse actions such as wrongful termination, harassment, and punitive actions.
The oldest and most effective whistleblower law, which covers both federal and private employees, is the False Claims Act.
The False Claims Act defines a “whistleblower” as a “relator,” and covers anyone who provides the government with information on frauds against the government by filing a Qui Tam lawsuit.
Today the law covers numerous areas, including Medicare fraud, healthcare fraud, military procurement fraud, customs and lease violations, and all other federal government programs. The law is designed to incentivize “insiders” with information on frauds to come forward. These “insiders” are covered even if they participated in illegal conduct.
Most states have enacted their own version of the False Claims Act.
In order to qualify for whistleblower rewards, your disclosures must meet the definition of “original information” as defined under each law.
There are many other federal and state laws that offer whistleblower protection depending on the subject matter of the disclosure and the status of the employee or person who is reporting misconduct.