The majority of U.S. states have their own version of the federal False Claims Act (FCA), and California is no exception. Anyone who engages in fraudulent activity in California may be subject to punishment under the California False Claims Act (CFCA). While the FCA and CFCA have many similarities, they have a few differences, as well, which are outlined below. If you believe your employer or another corporation is engaging in fraudulent acts, contact the whistleblower lawyers at Willoughby Brod today to learn about your options for reporting the fraud and how we can help.
Similarities Between the FCA and the CFCA
The FCA and CFCA have many similar provisions, including the following key provisions:
- Both require that whistleblower actions are filed under seal in order to allow the government time to investigate the claim and decide whether to intervene.
- Both provide a portion of the recovery amount to the whistleblower as compensation for their tips, if the government decides to intervene. However, compensation is only available to the first whistleblower to file.
- Both prohibit employer retaliation of any kind. That means an employer cannot fire you for blowing the whistle on their fraudulent conduct. The consequences for retaliation can include requiring the company to hire back the whistleblower, pay back wages, and pay civil fines.
Differences Between the FCA and CFCA
Although largely the same, there are some key differences between the FCA and CFCA, which are listed below:
- The FCA and CFCA differ on which specific acts constitute fraud.
- The FCA and CFCA differ on who is liable when there are multiple defendants (multiple guilty parties that committed the fraud).
- The FCA and CFCA provide for different time limits for how soon you have to file after witnessing the violation.
- The FCA and CFCA provide for different procedures for reporting the violation.
- The FCA and CFCA differ on how much a whistleblower may be able to recover. If the government decides to intervene in your whistleblower case, you may be entitled to a reward of between 10 to 25% in federal cases and between 15 and 33% in California cases. If the government decides not to intervene and your case proceeds with the help of your attorney, you may be entitled to a reward of between 25 and 30% in federal cases and between 25 and 50% in California cases.
The above lists of similarities and differences are by no means comprehensive. In order to learn all the similarities between a federal and state whistleblower claim, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney who is well-versed in both the FCA and the CFCA.
The attorneys at Willoughby Brod have helped countless whistleblowers reach their goals of seeking justice for their communities while obtaining a reward for providing their tips to the government. If you believe you have witnessed a violation of the FCA or CFCA by your employer or another corporation, contact the attorneys at Willoughby Brod today for your free consultation. We will help you better understand your options moving forward and help prepare your whistleblower case. Contact us at (800) 427-7020 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today.
(image courtesy of Benjamin Child)