What Are The Different Whistleblower Laws?

Below, whistleblower attorney Tony Munter discusses the different whistleblower laws and the impact they have on those looking to come forward and expose any wrongdoing.

What is The Difference Between The False Claims Act and The Whistleblower Laws?

Well the False Claims Act is one of many Whistleblower Laws. There are all kinds of Whistleblower Laws out there. They allow or provide legal rights to Whistleblowers for taking the action of reporting something that they see is wrong. Some people think that the first Whistleblower Law for example is the First Amendment to the United States constitution which provides freedom of speech and provides protection for freedom of speech.

The False Claims Act is very special and very narrowly tailored in the sense that it provides a reward to the Whistleblower for helping the government and helping the government fight fraud against the government. It is a Whistleblower Law I believe that is one of the strongest but it is a special law and it has an unusual provision in it that allows you to sue on behalf of the government.

There are really not very many other such laws, maybe it is just State False Claims Act, that have a provision that allows you to sue on behalf of the any government entity. Usually you can only sue on behalf of yourself or someone with whom you have a direct connection. So it is a pretty special law. It is one of many Whistleblower Laws but it is probably the most used Whistleblower Law.

How Many Whistleblower Laws Are There and What is The Best Whistleblower Law?

Well I  happen to think that the best Whistleblower Law is the False Claims Act but on the other hand there are lots of cases for which the False Claims Act is not appropriate.

For example, the Federal False Claims Act specifically does not allow you to sue with respect to tax frauds because if you are going to sue for tax fraud you really have to make a disclosure to the IRS and let the IRS handle it. You don’t have an independent right of action under the IRS Whistleblower Law but it is a Whistleblower Reward Law and it may be very valuable.

Similarly a suit for securities fraud assuming that the government isn’t somehow involved in holding any of the securities or owning any of the securities isn’t going to work under the Federal False Claims Act. So a SEC Whistleblower Law which you know may not be for every case as strong is you know the appropriate Whistleblower Law to use under those circumstances.

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