Click Fraud Protection Massachusetts Whistleblower Laws | MA False Claims Act
TZ Legal – Fraud Fighters Logo


Let the team at Tycko & Zavareei LLP help you report fraud in Massachusetts.
Home » Our Locations » Massachusetts

Massachusetts Whistleblower Laws

Massachusetts offers several state whistleblower laws both to protect those who report fraud and to incentivize disclosures that lead to a recovery of defrauded public funds. If you have information about fraud, waste, or abuse of Massachusetts state or local funding, you may be able to report it for a possible reward as well as receive legal protections against retaliation.

Fighting Fraud in Massachusetts

Massachusetts False Claims Act

The Massachusetts False Claims Act (MFCA) is similar to its federal equivalent in that it can be used to report several different areas of fraud involving taxpayer funds. Unlike many other state fraud laws, the MFCA can be used to target more kinds of false claims than just healthcare fraud. Other examples of reportable fraud under the MFCA involve:

The Massachusetts False Claims Act applies to both misappropriated state funding, as well as other local political subdivisions within Massachusetts, such as false claims involving municipality funds.

Whistleblower Rewards under the MA False Claims Act

Successful claims under the MFCA allow Massachusetts whistleblowers the opportunity to recover between 15 to 25% of the total settlement in cases with state intervention. In cases where the state declines to intervene, Massachusetts whistleblowers may be able to receive up to 30% of the proceeds, assuming that:

  1. Their information is previously undisclosed;
  2. Their information leads directly to a successful recovery of misappropriated funds;
  3. They did not plan or initiate the fraud themselves.

Who Enforces the MA False Claims Act?

Massachusetts state investigators take claims of fraud involving taxpayer funds seriously. The Massachusetts False Claims Act is enforced by the Attorney General’s False Claims Division, created in 2015 by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Penalties of up to treble damages and civil penalties of up to $11,000 per false claim, as well as legal fees and costs, are imposed per false claim under Massachusetts state law. Penalty rates are subject to adjustment under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990.

Because of the possibility for such high financial penalties per false claim, combined with aggressive enforcement by state investigators, Massachusetts whistleblowers who work with a skilled qui tam law firm may be able to receive sizable settlements as a result of their disclosures about fraud and waste involving public funds.

Massachusetts Whistleblower Protections

The MFCA also offers similar protections and recourses for whistleblowers who have been discriminated against as a result of their disclosure. It is illegal under Section 5J of the MFCA to make or enforce any “rule, regulation or policy preventing an employee, contractor or agent from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency” or to require waiving the rights of a whistleblower as a condition of employment.

Massachusetts whistleblowers who have been retaliated against have the option of pursuing legal action against their employers. Possible outcomes include:

  • Reinstatement with the same seniority status
  • Twice the amount of back pay
  • Interest on the back pay
  • Compensation for any special damages
  • Legal and litigation costs
  • Reasonable attorneys’ fees

Massachusetts Health Care Whistleblower Act

Massachusetts health care workers receive special considerations against retaliation when reporting fraud or practices that pose a public health risk at their place of employment. When healthcare workers in Massachusetts report certain violations at their workplaces they may be able to sue for reinstatement as well as lost wages and benefits if they come forward within the two-year state of limitations from the date of the discrimination.

Covered Massachusetts health care workers under the Massachusetts Health Care Whistleblower Act include:

  • Registered nurses
  • Licensed practical nurses
  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Pharmacists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers

Massachusetts Public Employee Whistleblower Act

Employees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts also are protected by additional whistleblower protections if they report on, testify about, or refuse to participate in activities that they “reasonably believe pose a risk to public health, safety, or the environment.” Examples of protected employees include those who work for Massachusetts cities, towns, counties and regional school districts, or any state authority, commission, or board.

Massachusetts public employee whistleblowers are entitled to reinstatement, up to three times lost wages and benefits, as well as reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees if they report discrimination reported to their disclosure within two years time.

Massachusetts OIG Fraud Reporting

The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General is an independent agency available to receive tips that concern the protection of public funds. The Massachusetts OIG Fraud Hotline accepts tips about reportable fraud such as kickbacks, collusion, bribery, embezzlement, graft, bid-rigging and theft, as well as about waste of taxpayer funds from public figures such as:

  • Taking unnecessary trips
  • Approving costly renovations to office spaces maintained by public funds
  • Overpaying vendors or employees
  • Offering inappropriate discounts or exclusive contracts to vendors

You may submit complaints anonymously via the Massachusetts OIG Fraud Hotline, and your complaints will not become a matter of public record.

However, it is important to note that disclosing information through the Massachusetts OIG Fraud Hotline is not the same as filing a qui tam action through a Massachusetts whistleblower lawyer. Sharing your information through a whistleblower lawyer is the best way to ensure that you qualify for any financial reward available, which is only available for previously unreported information. Your whistleblower attorney will be able to ensure that you cooperate to the fullest extent possible with any follow-up investigations or state inspection that arises as a result of your disclosure.

Federal Whistleblower Statutes

In addition to reporting under state law, Massachusetts whistleblowers can also file their claim under federal statutes in certain cases. Federal statutes that may apply to Massachusetts whistleblowers and offer remuneration as well as protections against retaliation include, but are not limited to:

Become a Massachusetts Whistleblower

Contact a Massachusetts whistleblower lawyer to review the specifics of your claim and find out what Massachusetts state and federal whistleblower statutes may apply to your case. Working with our qualified Massachusetts qui tam lawyers can help ensure that you do not miss out on the ability to file under each appropriate law and statute, ensuring you receive the maximum compensation possible as well every protection afforded to you because of your honest disclosure.

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.
Start The Process