California False Claims Act Rewards Whistleblowers
Protections From Employer Retaliation
Whistleblowers who blow the whistle on fraud against the State of California are entitled to rewards when the State recovers funds. Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(g). California law also protects those individuals from employer retaliation. Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653. These State whistleblower cases are brought under the California False Claims Act (“CFCA”). See Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 12650 et seq. The whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent whistleblowers in CFCA cases against government contractors, product manufacturers, service providers, pharmaceutical companies, and other healthcare groups who defraud the State of California under State programs like Medi-Cal. If you have credible information for a false claims or other whistleblower case in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.
The California False Claims Act contains several provisions that make it simpler for an individual to bring a case for fraud against the State:
• Whistleblowers are eligible for an award even if they planned and initiated the violation upon which the California False Claims Act action was based (Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(g)(5));
• The false claim does not have to be presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the State (Cal. Gov’t Code § 12651(a));
• The CFCA anti-retaliation provisions apply when whistleblowers are discriminated against for furthering an action under the California False Claims Act or for trying to stop a violation of the California False Claims Act. (Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653).
• The anti-retaliation provisions include contractors and agents in addition to employees (Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653(a); and
• Whistleblowers who are discriminated against may be entitled to reinstatement with the same seniority status, twice the amount of back pay plus interest, compensation for special damages, and litigation costs and attorneys’ fees. (Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653(b)).
A whistleblower lawsuit under the CFCA starts with a complaint filed under seal in the Superior Court of California and disclosure to the State Attorney General. Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(c)(2) and (3). The defendant corporation is not served with the complaint until after the California Attorney General reviews the complaint and directs the Court to lift the seal. Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(c)(9). If the State declines to intervene in the case and the whistleblower prosecutes the case on her own, the whistleblower can receive up to 50% of the amount recovered by the State. Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(g)(4).
In addition to cases under the California False Claims Act, Ingrid M. Evans and our California whistleblower attorneys handle whistleblower cases before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding tax avoidance schemes and before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in securities and investment fraud cases and in cases brought under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”) for bank fraud. If you or a loved one has information regarding State or federal false claims, offshore tax avoidance schemes against the IRS, or securities fraud in violation of SEC and CFTC regulations, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other California whistleblower and false claims attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.