Every year billions of dollars are stolen from the Government by dishonest contractors, hospitals, doctors and nursing homes who submit fraudulent billing claims for payment. Each year, the Government recovers millions of dollars from these companies with the help of whistleblowers who come forward and expose the fraud. However, many employees are hesitant to take action to prevent their employer from engaging in this intentional and illegal activity because they fear retribution. Fortunately, however, there are legal protections for employees and other whistleblowers who call attention to unlawful behavior. If you believe that your employer or another entity is violating the law, the Gainesville whistleblower lawyers at Cook Law Group can help you report the misconduct, seek the protection you need and help you obtain compensation out of money the Government recovers in such cases.Whistleblowers Claims Under Georgia Law
Under the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act and the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act, whistleblowers can pursue qui tam claims against entities that violate the law. The Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act is a narrow law that holds parties liable for intentionally submitting false claims to the state Medicaid program, while the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act more broadly holds parties liable for submitting false or fraudulent claims to the government, such as an inaccurate claim to avoid tax obligations. If the State Attorney General intervenes and prosecutes a case under either law, the whistleblower who reported the violation may recover between 15 and 25 percent of the proceeds from the case, but if the state does not intervene, the whistleblower may recover between 25 and 30 percent of the proceeds from the case.
Both laws protect employee whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting violations committed by their employers as well. A whistleblower attorney at our Gainesville firm can help an employee enforce these rights. Additionally, the Georgia Whistleblower Act bars public employers from creating or enforcing a policy that stops employees from revealing a violation of a law, rule, or regulation to a supervisor or government agency. It prohibits public employers from retaliating against any employee who reveals a violation, unless the employee knew that his or her report of a violation was false or made the report with a reckless lack of concern as to whether it was true. Public employers include any judicial, executive, or legislative branch of the state, any state department, board, or agency, and any governmental entity that receives state funds. Examples of behavior that may give rise to a whistleblower complaint under the Georgia Whistleblower Act include fraud, extravagant spending, and engaging in discriminatory practices.
It is important for any party who wishes to pursue a whistleblower claim or a retaliation claim to act promptly, since there are strict timelines for when such claims must be pursued. The time limits vary depending on the nature of the violation. Our Gainesville whistleblower attorneys can explain the restrictions that may apply to your case.Federal Protections for Whistleblowers
Like the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act, the federal False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to pursue qui tam claims against their employers or other entities for engaging in fraudulent or illegal behavior. It allows a whistleblower to recover a portion of the proceeds of the claim. The amount recoverable varies depending on the facts of the case. The federal False Claims Act also protects whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting the unlawful activities of their employers. Whistleblowers who report violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act are protected from retaliation as well. Lastly, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects whistleblowers who are filing claims based on alleged violations of securities rules.
There are many areas where fraud on the government can occur. Medicaid and Medicare are often the victim of unscrupulous hospitals, nursing homes or doctors who submit inflated or false bills for reimbursement. Contractors on highway construction projects, military projects and other endeavors which are paid for by Government money can be held liable for submitting false claims. If you are aware of such misconduct, you should consult an attorney who can help you with such claims.Hire a Whistleblower Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Employees should not be pressured to participate in or keep secret fraudulent activities and should not be punished for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting the unlawful conduct of their employers. If you are considering reporting the misconduct of your employer, or if you were terminated for reporting your employer’s violations, you should consult an attorney regarding your rights. Based in Gainesville, the knowledgeable whistleblower lawyers at Cook Law Group represent people in whistleblower cases throughout Georgia. You can contact us via our form onlineor by calling us at 678-928-3899 to set up a meeting. All initial consultations are free and are kept strictly confidential. We represent people in cities such as Gainesville, Albany, Columbus, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Athens, and Valdosta.