Being a whistleblower takes courage—the process can be emotionally draining and, at times, even scary. Many relators worry about whistleblower retaliation. Fortunately, the False Claims Act provides whistleblowers with protection against many of the risks associated with coming forward.
First and foremost, a whistleblower’s identity remains secret while the case is under seal.
When the case is no longer under seal, the False Claims Act provides remedies for whistleblowers who come forward against their employers and are subsequently discharged, demoted, suspended, "or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer" in retaliation for involvement in a False Claims Act case.
The False Claims Act was recently amended to strengthen anti-retaliatory protections for whistleblowers. The legislative history behind the recent amendments suggests they are designed to cover numerous types of retaliation that whistleblowers have commonly faced, including retaliation against:
If the court finds a whistleblower or other person covered by the anti-retaliatory provision of the False Claims Act was terminated or otherwise mistreated for the whistleblower's activities, the person is entitled to reinstatement at the same seniority level; two times the amount of back pay owed, plus interest; and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, such as litigation costs and attorneys’ fees.