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Arizona Whistleblower Laws

If you witness an entity or person you respect violating the law by submitting fraudulent claims to the government or public programs for reimbursement, you may want to minimize and stop the situation. Doing so can help ensure that government funds are used wisely and are not paid to entities seeking to profit from deceitful actions.

Fighting Fraud in Arizona

If you want to uphold justice and report false claims, it is necessary to consider the gravity of the situation first. Before reporting the incident to your managers who may be partaking in the scheme, you should investigate whether Arizona whistleblower laws apply in the situation.

If so, you should consider hiring an Arizona whistleblower attorney to discuss your legal rights, responsibilities, and options when reporting false claims of government funds. Learn more about what laws might apply in your situation and how our attorneys here at Tycko & Zavareei LLP can help you file a whistleblower claim below.

Federal False Claims Act

Arizona does not have a state-specific false claims act, but the federal False Claims Act applies to Arizona entities that use federal government funding. Under this Act, any entity or person who submits a false claim for payment of funds from the US government or keeps an excessive payment for more than 60 days may be liable for specific damages. If a claim is filed, the damages can range from $10,957 to $21,916 per false claim, plus the cost of pursuing the qui tam lawsuit.

Whistleblowers who report false claim incidents can serve as a qui tam relator and file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the government. They are offered specific protections under the law, and if the claim is successful, the whistleblower can also receive a portion of the money recovered. If the Department of Justice intervenes in the lawsuit, the whistleblower can receive up to 25 percent of the total amount; if the whistleblower and their attorney pursue the lawsuit independently, the whistleblower may receive up to 30 percent of the amount recovered.

Arizona Employment Protection Act

The Arizona Employment Protection Act provides specific relief for employees who come forward in good faith to report companies or other employees violating an Arizona statute or the Arizona Constitution. These employees are expected to report the violation (or attempted violation) to an appropriate member of management. The employees are also expected to show that their belief is “objectively reasonable” and that another reasonable person would also conclude, in good faith, that the person was engaging in a violation based on the same evidence.

This act also outlines specific protections for the employee that blows the whistle. The act makes it illegal for an employer to terminate an employee because they report a wrongdoing to management. It is important to note that other forms of retaliation are not covered under this law.

Arizona Anti-Fraud Statute

Under Arizona’s Anti-Fraud Statute, it is unlawful for anyone to make a false claim for medical services covered by Medicaid or Medicare. It is also unlawful to make a claim in excess of the needs of the individual. Examples include overbilling for services provided, billing for services not provided, billing for patients who no longer qualify for coverage, and more.

If a person suspects fraud or abuse in good faith, then the law provides recourse. The individual should notify the director of Arizona Medicaid in a written report, but it makes the most sense to consult with a whistleblower lawyer first. Once the director reviews the incident, they will decide whether to report it to the Arizona attorney general for further investigation.

How to Use Arizona Whistleblower Laws to Your Advantage

Have you recently uncovered fraud or another type of violation within your organization? If so, then you can use Arizona whistleblower laws to your advantage. The average whistleblower journey is not an easy one, though. To make an informed decision on how to move forward with seeking out justice, you first need to understand your rights and benefits under Arizona’s whistleblower laws.

To make sure that you report the wrongdoing correctly, it might be the best idea to hire a lawyer. Learn more about seeking out a qui tam claim below.

Understand Your Rights

Under Arizona’s whistleblower laws, employees who make a good faith effort to report a wrongdoing using the proper channels are protected from retaliation by their employer. Retaliation includes losing your job, getting demoted, having your hours reduced, facing workplace harassment, or facing threats from your employer.

Know the Benefits of Filing a Claim

Whistleblowers who file a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the government that later turns out to be successful are entitled to a percentage of the overall settlement award. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can receive up to 30% of the settlement if the whistleblower files the claim without the help of the government. If the government intervenes, then they can still get up to 25%. Many whistleblower success stories involve hefty awards, so it makes sense to consider the financial benefits associated with blowing the whistle before you take action.

Hire the Right Lawyer

Before you take action, it makes the most sense to consult with a qualified lawyer about your situation. It is necessary to do your research to ensure you choose the right lawyer who has experience with qui tam cases. The right lawyer will help you better understand the law, your legal options, your rights, your responsibilities, and how to navigate your path forward.

Are You Considering Blowing the Whistle in Arizona?

Blowing the whistle after witnessing your organization or someone you respect committing a wrongful action can be a very intimidating and complex journey. While your report should be handled anonymously whenever possible, there is a chance that your workplace will soon learn that the truth has been revealed. When that happens, the organization or person may lash out.

The good news is that you can find refuge and protection under Arizona’s whistleblower laws. To ensure your rights are respected throughout the process, it makes the most sense to consult with a legal representative who can help.

Here at Tycko & Zavareei LLP, our lawyers have extensive experience handling qui tam claims. If you are considering blowing the whistle, then schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with our experienced qui tam lawyers now to learn more about our services.

How can we help you?

Confidential Case Evaluation

Our experienced qui tam attorneys are available for a confidential, no-cost, no-commitment, initial evaluation of your case. Call us now at (202) 973-0900, or begin the process by completing our Confidential Case Evaluation Form.
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