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Whistleblowers Archives

Government Construction Projects & Prevailing Wage Fraud

Each year, the federal government and state governments spend billions of dollars on a numerous construction projects. These projects range from highways and bridges to government office buildings and federally subsidized housing. It should come as no surprise that these government construction programs have been a frequent target for fraud. The federal government's False Claims Act is a law that provides financial rewards to individuals who file false claim suits on behalf of the government against individuals and entities which defraud the federal government. There are currently 31 states that have their own false claims acts, which also allows private citizens to bring suit against individuals and entities which defraud the state. On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 ("FERA"). FERA amended the federal False Claims Act by significantly expanding the circumstances in which contractors and subcontractors may be liable for false claims. Under FERA, liability under the federal False Claims Act is extended to claims under any contract or grant that is funded or partially funded by the federal government. Prevailing wage fraud is sometimes a mechanism by which the government is defrauded.

False Claims Settlement Reached for Our Client

On February 6, 2017, the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania announced that a False Claims settlement was reached between the United States Department of Justice and Para-Plus Translations, Inc., ("Para Plus") a New Jersey corporation that contracts with federal and state agencies, among other clients, for interpretation, transcription and translation services.

Wrongful Termination & the False Claims Act

Many states adhere to the "employment at will" doctrine. It's a well-settled principle that an employee can be fired for a "good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all." "Wrongful termination" is a catch-phrase without a distinct legal meaning that has evolved to represent a termination which the employee believes is illegal. Sometimes the termination is illegal. Other times, the termination is simply unfair. And, "unfair" is not synonymous with "illegal." Illegal terminations, such as a discriminatory termination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, leave an employee without a remedy. "Unfair" terminations which do not offend a protected trait or a protected activity, or violate a statute, do not provide any means of redress.

Reporting Fraud Committed Against the Government

The federal False Claims Act allows private citizens, known as whistleblowers, to bring false claims actions against companies that defraud the government. As an incentive, the False Claims Act has a provision which rewards whistleblowers. Whistleblowers can receive as much as a thirty percent share of the recovery.

False Claims and Physical Therapy

If you listen to the news, you may have heard about "whistleblowers."  Whistleblowing, in the legal context, generally refers to speaking up against activity that a person reasonably believes is either against the law, against a regulation, or against a public policy. The predominant law relied upon by whistleblowers is the False Claims Act (FCA). 

Whistleblowers

Whistleblower cases have skyrocketed in the past few years. Simply stated, "whistleblowing" is speaking up against activity that a person reasonably believes is either against the law, against a regulation, or against a public policy. The definition varies depending on state laws as well as various federal laws. Very often an individual will be protected when "blowing the whistle" is done properly. Wrongful conduct that is the subject of the whistleblowing is protected. That is, the law protects the person for coming forward. The law also provides financial rewards for doing so.

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