People do not look for a whistleblower attorney when the company is conducting itself ethically and making money legitimately from providing legitimate services to the government for a fair price. In fact, most companies do the right thing and the work of whistleblowers supports their practices by cracking down on their competitors who would cheat the government to get ahead. However, overall the industry reaction to whistleblower cases will vary, and a whistleblower should hire an experienced attorney as soon as they can.
There has been an industry-wide understanding, including efforts by various pharmaceutical companies, to improve practices with respect to off-label marketing and other practices due to whistleblower cases. There has been a growing trend in the last five years of greater awareness of what representatives can do. For example, those involved with bad defense contractors, the bad division of a defense contractor, a bad healthcare provider, or even a bad group of doctors or clinic will likely contact an attorney.
Despite these positive industry reactions to whistleblower cases, it can still be quite intimidating to be a whistleblower on a corporate setting. Often facing huge companies, individuals may be intimidated by the scale of the claim, and how it can have an impact on their lives. The corporate reaction to whistleblower cases can sometimes be severe, which is why a whistleblower should hire an experienced attorney immediately. The right DC lawyer will be able to effectively process the case and help to prove your claims in a court of law.
Changes in Practices
An example of how industry practices are changing is the changing attitudes in pharmaceutical companies and their pay towards sales representatives. Many companies have moved their representatives from a commission-based pay to a straight salary on the theory that having the monetary incentive to sell more in that industry was too dangerous. Additionally, there is often a corporate integrity agreement with the government following a successful False Claims Act case to monitor practices. If the company’s practices do not change they will face another claim.
Corporate Impact of Whistleblowing
Sometimes, the corporate reaction to whistleblower cases can be overwhelming, and it can be quite hard for a whistleblower’s case to be taken seriously. While being a whistleblower can often be difficult, a successful claim will cause a company to face major big fines and require a change in practices.
Practices change slowly as a result of egregious behavior being exposed by a whistleblower. In addition, whistleblowers can obtain a large reward for exposing fraud and bringing a company to justice and change an industry.
Role of the Whistleblower
Whistleblowers have a role in bringing information to the government through laws that are on the civil side of legal jurisprudence. They do not initiate any criminal investigations. Nonetheless, there are always industry reactions to whistleblower cases.
The False Claims Act is a civil statute, the Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower office is a civil matter. However, the Department of Justice has said that they are going to review False Claims Act complaints for potential criminal issues. A private attorney is not directly involved with the Department’s decision as to how to pursue a False Claims Act case.
This has not prevented the government from obtaining large false claims act awards and settlements.