Whistleblower Laws Protect Your Job
Employers Cannot Fire Whistleblowers for Reporting Fraud
Medicaid whistleblower laws have anti-retaliation provisions making it illegal to fire someone for doing the right thing – reporting Medicaid fraud. For over 150 years, the government has offered whistleblowers legal protection in cases of employer retaliation.
Whistleblowers are protected from employer retaliation resulting from reporting or intending to report actions they reasonably believe are illegal or fraudulent. People who blow the whistle are also protected when they object to an illegal or fraudulent act or refuse to participate in an activity they reasonably believe is illegal or fraudulent.
Under Medicaid whistleblower laws, a whistle blower must “reasonably believe” that their employer’s actions are illegal or fraudulent. The whistle blower is not required to prove that the law was actually violated, however the whistle blower must reasonably think that a law or public policy was violated by such activity and his or her complaint must be based on an activity that is actually occurring or has recently occurred.
In determining whether an employer’s conduct in firing, demoting or harassing an employee, courts weigh the interests of the employer, employee, other affected individuals, and the public. The retaliatory action must have a public impact. Private disputes involving the whistleblower’s employment are not sufficient to afford whistleblower protection.
Your Protection as a Whistleblower under Medicaid False Claims Acts
State False Claims Acts, under which you report Medicaid Fraud and possibly earn a tipster reward, have strong anti-retaliation provisions to protect employees who try to stop fraudulent activity.
Specifically, you are protected under your state False Claims Act from being discharged (fired), demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, denied promotion or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of their employment as a result of your disclosure of information (Reporting Medicaid Fraud).
You are covered for whistle blower protection if you are:
- A person filing a whistleblower claim against your employer or medical provider.
- Someone who intends to file a whistleblower claim against their employer or medical provider.
- An agent or contractor who helps a whistle blower report the fraud.
- A person who had no intent to file a whistleblower lawsuit but reported the fraudulent activity internally (to a manager or supervisor) in an attempt to stop the activity.
Medicaid Whistle Blower Victims of Employer Retaliation are Entitled to Remedies
Under State False Claims Acts’ whistle blower retaliation provisions, whistleblowers who experience workplace retaliation are entitled to all damages essential to “make the employee” whole. These remedies include:
Reinstatement to your position with comparable seniority as you would have but for the retaliation.
- Two times the amount of any back pay lost during a change in position.
- Interest on any back pay lost to losing the job or a demotion.
- Reasonable attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs incurred.
- Compensation for other damages resulting from the retaliation.
These retaliation damages are in addition to any amount earned as a whistleblower reward for reporting medical providers who are defrauding Medicaid or other government healthcare program.
If you have knowledge of fraudulent billing by an employer, medical provider or company that results in financial loss to Medicaid, Medicare or Tricare, act now to protect yourself and ensure your role as a whistleblower.
Call our Medicaid Hotline at 888.742.7248 or REPORT ONLINE.