Employee reports of government fraud being committed by employers are a critical source of information. For this reason, the False Claims Act provides broad protection for employees from retaliation for any activities “in furtherance of” a possible FCA claim. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).
Cell Therapeutics Inc. v. Lash Group Inc., 586 F.3d 1204, 1206 (9th Cir. 2010) “Congress intended to protect employees from retaliation while they are collecting information about a possible fraud, before they have put all the pieces of the puzzle together.” Fanslow v. Chic. Mfg. Ctr., Inc., 384 F.3d 469, 481 (7th Cir. 2004) (citing Neal v. Honeywell, Inc., 33 F.3d 860, 863 (7th Cir. 1994) and U.S. ex rel. Yesudian v. Howard Univ., 153 F.3d 731, 741 (D.C. Cir. 1998)); U.S. ex rel. Holmes v. Consumer Ins. Group, 318 F.3d 1199, 1212-1215 (10th Cir. 2003). (Read : Gurumurthy Kalyanaram Reports on Collateral Estoppel And Materiality of The Finding)
“The Committee believes that the amendments . . . which allow and encourage assistance from the private citizenry can make a significant impact on bolstering the Government’s fraud enforcement effort. . . . [T]he Committee seeks to halt companies . . . from using the threat of economic retaliation to silence ‘whistleblowers’, as well as assure those who may be considering exposing fraud that they are legally protected from retaliatory acts. . . Protected activity should therefore be interpreted broadly.” Sen. Rpt. 99-345, at 8, 34 (1986), reprinted, 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. 5266, 5273, and 5299.
These precedents should provide a framework for analysis of lawsuits in this domain.