HomeThe Whistleblower HandbookRule 5: Don’t Forget State Laws

Rule 5: Don’t Forget State Laws

Whistleblower State Laws: Resources for Rules in Your State

Protections for whistleblowers under state law vary widely from state to state. Although many states have recognized common law protections for whistleblowers, under what’s known as the “public policy exception” to the “at-will” doctrine, not all states do and in some states this common law protection may be abridged. Many states have also instituted their own version of the Federal False Claims Act, allowing whistleblowers to file qui tam cases on behalf of the State government and receive awards when they can demonstrate fraud.

The Office of Inspector General of Health and Human Services also evaluated the False Claims Acts of individual States to determine whether the State law meets the requirements of section 1909(b) of the Social Security Act, See 71 FR 48552, Aug. 21, 2006. The HHS OIG’s guidelines can be read here. The review of these laws, however, pertains only to Medicaid fraud, and the approval of the HHS OIG does not necessarily mean that the law is sufficient for reporting other types of fraud.