While virtually anyone can be a Relator, the majority of those who bring qui tam actions are current or former employees, who have an insider’s perspective on the wrongdoing. In order to protect vulnerable Relators or employees, the FCA specifically forbids retaliation against those who initiate or assist in furthering a qui tam action. Specifically, Section 3730(h) of the FCA prohibits an employer from adversely changing the terms and conditions of employment for those engaged in lawful whistleblowing activities related to violations of the False Claims Act.
If an employee is subjected to retaliation as a result of their whistleblower status, he or she can sue for double back pay with interest, back and full benefits, reinstatement, and litigation/attorney costs. The retaliation protections for the whistleblower last for three years from the date of retaliation. Additionally, other laws, including state false claims act laws, may provide additional anti-retaliation protections for those bringing a qui tam complaint.