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Unfortunately, millions of employees around the world witness fraud, criminal behavior, or other types of wrongdoing at their organizations and are faced with a decision to report or turn a blind eye.

If you witness fraud in the District of Columbia, then you will want to learn more about whistleblower laws in Washington DC and your legal rights and options moving forward. Depending on the circumstances, you might qualify for a reward for reporting the wrongdoing through the proper channels.

Learn more about Washington DC whistleblower laws and how the qui tam attorneys with Tycko & Zavareei LLP can help you blow the whistle on fraud in the District.

Fighting Fraud in Washington D.C.

What is a Washington DC Whistleblower?

Whistleblowing is the act of reporting fraud or suspected fraud within an organization to the Department of Justice or another governmental body. In recent years, whistleblowers have become a foundational part of holding businesses and other groups accountable, and whistleblowing is on the rise.

Recent statistics indicate that there was a 76 percent increase in whistleblower tips from 2020 to 2021. These whistleblowers reported the following kinds of fraud by their employers:

  • Gross mismanagement
  • Misuse or waste of public resources or funds
  • Healthcare fraud
  • A violation of contractual terms between the DC government and a contractor or business
  • Behaviors that endanger the public health
  • Environmental abuses

By reporting these wrongdoings, the employee not only helps ensure that their organization is held accountable, but also that justice is served overall.

What is the DC False Claims Act?

Of course, in order to successfully blow the whistle, the whistleblower must act within the scope of the law. One of the most important laws that outline how the whistleblower can seek justice is the DC False Claims Act.

The DC False Claims Act allows individuals who witness fraud to file a “qui tam” claim. This lawsuit covers not only healthcare fraud but also other types of fraud like government contracts fraud, environmental abuses, financial fraud, and more.

In a nutshell, the whistleblower seeks out the claim on behalf of the DC government. If the claim is successful, then the whistleblower can receive a financial reward. Under the DC False Claims Act, this financial award can range from 15 to 25 percent of the overall settlement amount in the lawsuit if the District intervenes and takes over the case. If the District never intervenes and the claim is later successful, then the whistleblower can receive anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of the overall settlement amount.

What is the DC Whistleblower Protection Act?

If you have witnessed fraud within your company, then you are likely wondering whether it is worth your effort to pursue a qui tam claim or report the situation. After all, it can be very intimidating to call out a wrongful action that was committed by someone who has more authority and power than you within your organization.

Whistleblowing on this and other government programs fraud is made easier thanks to the DC Whistleblower Protection Act.

This important law protects whistleblowers from experiencing retaliatory actions from an employer so long as the whistleblower’s disclosure strictly complies with the law.

What Types of Adverse Employment Actions Are Whistleblowers Protected From?

If you think you are alone in witnessing fraud within your organization, think again. In 2018, almost half (45 percent) of US-based companies received at least one whistleblowing report.

If you disclose a wrongdoing, it is understandable to fear adverse employment action, such as getting fired. The good news is that the DC Whistleblower Protection Act protects whistleblowers from the following forms of retaliation:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Suspension
  • Threats
  • Discrimination

If you do experience adverse employment action after making a protected disclosure, it is important to get in touch with a whistleblower lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your rights. Our attorneys can help you file a separate claim against your employer for reinstatement to your prior position if you were terminated, restoration of lost benefits, back pay for lost wages, and attorneys’ fees.

Types of Whistleblower Compensation

The type of whistleblower compensation you are entitled to in a qui tam lawsuit will depend on the type of wrongdoing you are reporting, the success of the claim, whether or not you were retaliated against, and the overall settlement amount. Possible types of compensation you might receive after a filing a qui tam claim include:

  • A percentage of the recovered funds
  • Injunctive relief if you were retaliated against
  • Compensatory damages
  • Litigation costs

How Whistleblower Laws Can Work to Your Advantage

The average whistleblower journey is complicated but rewarding. When you witness fraud or wrongdoing, whistleblower laws work to your advantage to help you report the wrongdoing, get protected under the law, and potentially even receive a financial reward for seeking out justice on behalf of the DC government.

Ask Our Qui Tam Attorneys about Washington DC Whistleblower Laws

Do you believe that you have recently witnessed fraud or another type of wrongdoing in your organization? Are you thinking of using the whistleblower laws in DC to your advantage and reporting the issue through the proper channels?

Before you make your move, it may be in your best interests to consult with a local whistleblower lawyer about your rights under Washington DC whistleblower laws. The attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei LLP can help you make an informed choice on how to move forward and represent you every step of the way. Schedule a confidential case evaluation with our team now to discuss your situation in more detail.

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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