Did you know that there are laws in place to protect you in the event that you become aware of fraudulent or illegal activity in the state of North Carolina? There are state and federal laws there to protect your right to be involved in this activity and to respond in the event that your employer retaliates against you.
Evidence of this illegal or fraudulent behavior is important; the government will investigate the information provided by the whistleblower and use this to decide whether or not they’ll get involved in the case. Any whistleblower, however, can choose to continue with the case even if the North Carolina government drops out.
Since there’s a reward on the line and the possibility of curbing fraud, it’s a good idea to have a relationship with an NC whistleblower lawyer before you file your complaint or notify your supervisor. It’s hard to predict what happens with your claim after that, it’s good to have an attorney who knows how to guide you through that process.
Understanding the North Carolina False Claims Act
If you become aware of violations of state law, you can be classified as a whistleblower and bring a qui tam or North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit. This statute imposes liability on parties or persons who purposely present fraudulent or false claims for payment to the state of North Carolina, purposely avoid binding obligations to pay the state, such as taxes or misappropriating state property.
A defendant named in a North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit could be ordered to pay as much as 3 times the actual harm done to the state in addition to individual violation act fines of between $5,500 and $11,000 for every violation.
A whistleblower who initiates a successful claim in which the North Carolina attorney general opts to join the case can receive between 15% and 25% of any financial recovery accomplished through that lawsuit. If the North Carolina attorney general declines to get involved in the case and the whistleblower proceeds on their own, they could receive between 25% – 30% of the amount recovered.
Furthermore, the North Carolina False Claims Act also protects whistleblowers who are retaliated against by their employers for being involved in protected activities such as assisting the estate with its claim or filing a claim on their own. The statute of limitations means that a plaintiff must take action reasonably quickly. Plaintiffs have to file their complaints no later than 10 years after the date on which the alleged violation occurs.
It is imperative for someone thinking about filing a North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney who has past experience in helping whistleblowers in this situation. These qui tam cases could also be described as fraud against the government because the taxpayers and the government can be defrauded when a company or individual is involved in fraudulent or illegal behavior.
If you suspect that your employer is committing financial fraud against the government of North Carolina, defrauding the government in pursuit of financial gain, abusing existing government contracts, or cheating on corporate taxes, you may have grounds for a North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit.
Most successful cases of a North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit will settle for $2 million or less, but this could lead to a substantial award for an employee or party who has inside information and shares it. There are instances in which the financial outcome of a successful case could involve a bigger award and therefore a bigger award to the whistleblower who helped kickstart the case.
When to File a Retaliation Suit
Whistleblower lawsuits are claims brought forward in an attempt to protect the US government from those who attempt to defraud it. Whistleblowers have helped to stop many unlawful practices and to help the government recover compensation that was previously due to it. However, many research studies have shown that the vast majority of offenses falling under whistleblower laws are unchecked and unreported.
People choose to reveal fraud against the government for many different reasons. Some are motivated by financial incentives but are mostly likely motivated by the principles as well. Many different people could be classified as the relator in a North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit, including manufactures, defense contractor machinist, medical personnel, bank managers, and construction companies, and their subcontractors.
You must be able to show that there’s a reasonable connection between your employer’s adverse action regarding your employment status and the fact that you were engaged in protected activity as a whistleblower. To determine the kinds of evidence that helps to support this, your NC whistleblower lawsuit attorney can help you understand what might qualify as evidence and how you can use it.
How to Understand Job Protection Under the Law
The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers from being retaliated against by their employer. This is because the federal False Claims Act enables individuals to sue on behalf of the United States government for false claims and to potentially share in any recovery. When many who have knowledge of fraud might be reluctant to come forward with a lawsuit due to potential repercussions from their employer, filing a whistleblower claim affords these employees the opportunity to get certain protections under federal law.
For example, the False Claims Act offers protection from termination, demotion, discrimination, decreased work hours, punishments from the employer or an inhospitable work environment. The government will initiate their investigation of a claim under the federal False Claims Act and keep this complaint sealed for up to 60 days.
Many cases can take longer than a few years to go through the claims process. Since it can be especially complicated to bring a North Carolina whistleblower lawsuit, it is recommended that you have an experienced and knowledgeable North Carolina whistleblower attorney at your side.