israel-palacio-463979-copy-300x200While most individuals have the opportunity to bring a qui tam whistleblower suit for any violation of the False Claims Act, there are certain exceptions to who may bring a qui tam whistleblower suit and the conditions of the suit. The following are five instances that, if applicable to you, bar you from filing a qui tam whistleblower suit. If you believe any of the following may apply to you, contact an experienced qui tam whistleblower attorney immediately to find out if you fall into one of the below classes and what options are available to you.

Former and Present Members of the Armed Forces

Under the Civil Actions for False Claims Act, a former or present member of the armed forces may not, in his or her capacity as a qui tam whistleblower, sue another member of the armed forces for fraudulent actions arising out of the whistleblower’s service. Additionally, while the statute does not bar governmental employees from bringing a False Claims Act (FCA) suit, governmental employees wishing to bring an FCA suit should be prepared to respond to challenges that he or she cannot bring suit as a governmental employee.

benjamin-child-17946-copy-300x200You blew the whistle on your employer’s illegal actions, and now your employer is retaliating against you. This is not an unusual situation, but it is an illegal one. Both federal law and California law protect whistleblower employees from employer retaliation and impose large fines on employers who choose to ignore this law. If you have been retaliated against at work for whistleblowing, you may be wondering what you can do to remedy this situation. Contact the attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to have your case reviewed for free and receive actionable next steps for what you can do in this situation.

Make Sure Your Whistleblower Actions are Protected in California

California offers general whistleblower protections that protect whistleblowers from being retaliated against by their employers for disclosing or refusing to participate in suspected illegal activities, but it also offers whistleblower protections in the following specific circumstances:

ken-treloar-385255-copy-300x200Medi-Cal fraud occurs more frequently than you think and often goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, this only harms recipients and future recipients of Medi-Cal who desperately need this healthcare assistance program in order to obtain the medical treatments they require. As a whistleblower, you have the opportunity to help put an end to Medi-Cal fraud by reporting healthcare providers and professionals who engage in fraudulent acts. If you detect any fraudulent acts by your healthcare provider, contact the healthcare fraud attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about how you should proceed with your whistleblower claim.

What is Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal is a California Medicaid program for low income adults and children that is supported by both federal and state taxes. Those who qualify for Medi-Cal can receive free or low-cost healthcare services and generally receive the same benefits offered under Covered California but at much discounted or free prices. Anyone can apply for Medi-Cal regardless of age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, color, national origin, marital status, disability, or veteran status.

samson-duborg-rankin-91091-unsplash-copy-300x200One of the biggest fears many employees have when deciding whether to blow the whistle on their employer’s illegal conduct is employer retaliation. No one wants to rat out an employer when it means he or she will be fired from a job. Luckily, California has whistleblower protection laws in place that make it illegal for employers to retaliate against their employees for being a whistleblower. However, these laws do not always stop employers from retaliating against their employees, especially in more subtle ways. Rather than firing a whistleblower employee, which is obvious employer retaliation, an employer may try to push an employee out in more subtle ways. If you believe you may have been the subject of employer retaliation after blowing the whistle on your employer’s illegal conduct, contact the whistleblower lawyers at Willoughby Brod today to find out how we can help.

Six Ways Your Employer May Try to Retaliate Against You

While pushing you out of the company in more subtle ways, your employer may try to convince you that what they are doing is not considered employer retaliation at all. By making yourself knowledgeable about some of the most common ways employers try to push employees out, you can better equip yourself to recognize employer retaliation when it happens to you.

simon-abrams-286276-copy-300x200No one likes a snitch in petty situations, but in the face of corporate fraud, employee whistleblowers are some of the most invaluable individuals to society. While employees may try to seek recourse for improper employer actions internally, they will often find this path closed off to them. A company’s internal human resources department will more often than not side with the employer and not with an employee who is attempting to divulge negative intel about the company. As such, employees are often left with no choice but to blow the whistle on their employer’s unruly conduct through other outlets. Listed below are just a few reasons why employee whistleblowers are so important. If you have reason to believe your employer is engaging in fraud of any sort, contact the experienced whistleblower attorneys at Willoughby Brod LLP today to have your case reviewed for free by a legal professional.

Employee whistleblowers have an insider’s view.

Employees who work closely alongside the mastermind of the fraud typically have a unique, and superior, vantage point into the fraud that is being committed. Not only are they able to detect fraud at the source, but they are sometimes the only person who is aware of the fraud. Thus, it is crucial that employees who detect fraud within their companies report the fraud as quickly as possible. By reporting fraud in a timely fashion, an employee whistleblower can not only prevent damage to potential victims of the fraud, but also ensure a higher likelihood that he or she receives the highest reward possible from the government for reporting the fraud.

israel-palacio-463979-copy-300x200With the high number of TRICARE fraud cases in the United States, it is no wonder that healthcare fraud is the second highest priority of focus for the U.S. Department of Justice. The $2.7 trillion healthcare industry is an enticing target for those wanting to commit healthcare fraud, which is defined as purposefully misrepresenting a medical treatment or product in order to receive a higher benefit. In fact, Humana Military has estimated that 7-10% of the $2.7 trillion industry is fraudulent. If you suspect your doctor is committing TRICARE fraud, call an experienced qui tam lawyer at The Brod Law Firm today to learn more about how you can report your case as a whistleblower.

What is TRICARE?

TRICARE is a federal healthcare program, similar to Medicare, for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families. TRICARE provides comprehensive coverage to its beneficiaries, including general health plans, special programs customized for beneficiaries, prescriptions, and dental plans.

 samson-duborg-rankin-91091-unsplash-copy-300x200If you suspect that your employer or another organization is committing fraud, financial mismanagement, unethical practices, or other illegal activities, you have a right to report that illegal activity as a whistleblower. This four step guide to whistleblowing will explain the exact steps you need to take to successfully report a whistleblowing case.

Hire a good lawyer, fast. The first thing you will want to do is hire an experienced whistleblower attorney as soon as you detect the organization’s illegal activities. While you may be tempted to report the illegal activity internally, many organizations will do anything they can to mask internal misconduct and will defend the company at your expense. Even though whistleblower retaliation is prohibited under federal OSHA laws and the California False Claims Act, it is not unheard of for employers to fire or mistreat their employees who have been discovered to be whistleblowers.

An experienced attorney, on the other hand, can give you advice as to exactly what you should be doing to gather evidence and build a strong case, without risking your job security. While a lawyer will be your best support in filing a whistleblower case, it is still your job to collect all the necessary evidence. A whistleblower case is not based on hunches alone but on hard, solid evidence.

hush-naidoo-382152-copy-300x200Insurance fraud can take place across multiple industries, from automobile insurance to medical insurance to property insurance. In most cases, the victim does not even know that he or she has been defrauded. By making yourself aware of common insurance fraud schemes in California, you can better equip yourself to identify insurance fraud when it occurs and help stop insurance fraud in California. If you believe you have witnessed an incident of insurance fraud, call Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020 today to speak with an experienced qui tam attorney and learn how you can help.

What is Insurance Fraud?

The California Penal Code defines insurance fraud as the willful injury, destruction, or disposition of any property that is insured against loss or damage. Consumers and businesses alike can be guilty of insurance fraud. While a consumer might be found committing insurance fraud by submitting a claim to his or her insurance company based on false injuries, a business might be found committing insurance fraud by inflating the cost of their services or billing for services that were never performed. While insurance fraud can take place in just about any industry, the most common industries in which insurance fraud is seen are the automobile, healthcare, workers’ compensation, property insurance, and life insurance industries.

benjamin-child-90768-300x200Many employees are afraid to report their employer’s illegal conduct in fear that they will be terminated or punished in some way. However, California law prohibits whistleblower retaliation against an employee and offers restitution for those who have been victims of whistleblower retaliation. If you have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation in California, contact our experienced San Francisco whistleblower attorneys at (800) 427-7020 immediately for your free case evaluation.

What is Whistleblower Retaliation?

Whistleblower retaliation in the workplace can look similar to other forms of workplace retaliation. However, whistleblower retaliation refers specifically to retaliation against employees in response to employees’ reporting of his or her employer’s illegal actions or improper conduct. Whistleblower retaliation can take the form of wrongful termination, demotion, denial of resources and training, negative performance reviews, increase in work hours, and more. California whistleblower laws extend these protections to contractors and agents in addition to employees.

ken-treloar-385255-copy-300x200It is illegal in California to commit health care fraud, yet with the confusing payment bureaucracy for health care in the United States, health care fraud occurs more frequently than most people think. Health care fraud, also known as medical insurance billing fraud, health insurance fraud, Medicare fraud, Medi-Cal fraud, or HMO fraud, takes the form of many different types of improper and illegal actions. By familiarizing yourself with the most common types of health care fraud schemes, you may be able to identify if and when your health care provider is committing health care fraud. If you have information regarding improper billing or other types of health care fraud from your health care provider, call Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020 today to speak with an experienced health care fraud attorney and learn more about your rights and remedies today.

Seven Common Health Care Fraud Schemes

  1. Billing for services that were never performed