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Protecting yourself when blowing the whistle

It is both disheartening and overwhelming when a Tennessee employee learns that his or her employer is participating in wrongdoing and breaking the law. If you find yourself in this situation, you may not know what to do, where to turn or how to protect yourself, but there are options available to you. As a whistleblower, you have certain rights and options. 

If you learned your employer is defrauding the government, and you want to do something about it, it is prudent to go ahead and take the appropriate steps to shield yourself and obtain a full understanding of your rights. You have the right to file a lawsuit called a qui tam lawsuit, which helps the government recover what was lost to fraud. As the person who filed the lawsuit, you have a claim to a certain portion of what the government recovers.

How can I know if I should file a qui tam action?

It may not be easy for you to decide if you should file a qui tam action. Anyone may file this type of lawsuit, no matter his or her job description or status in a company. If you know that your employer is submitting false claims against the government, you have the right and option to initiate the qui tam claims process. Examples of valid reasons to do this include the following:

  • Charging government agencies for work not completed
  • Selling something to the government and not delivering on it
  • Overcharging the government for goods and services
  • Failing to properly test products sold to the government
  • Making false claims about the quality of a product
  • Employing practices that defraud, cheat or steal from the government

Upon filing the claim, the government will work to investigate the claims made in the qui tam lawsuit. The government will then decide whether to pursue legal action against your employer, but if there is no action taken, you then have the option to pursue a legal remedy independently.

Holding your employer accountable for wrongdoing

Qui tam claims are an appropriate course of action for people who have proof that their employer defrauded the government, due to either intentional wrongdoing or reckless action. Additionally, if the government is successful in recovering damages, you could benefit financially by receiving a portion of the damages recovered.

Taking this course of action may not only be good for you if you receive a portion of damages, but could also be beneficial for the public interest and the welfare of others.

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