What You Need To Know Before You Blow Whistle

First and foremost, it is critical that anyone thinking about blowing the whistle should consult a lawyer. This is particularly true where a whistleblower has been terminated and is being asked to sign a severance agreement. Often, in the context of settlement, these agreements contain releases that will seek to release all potential claims against the company including any rights the whistleblower has to bring an action under the False Claims Act, or any other whistleblower statute. A whistleblower should consult with an attorney to determine whether an agreement he or she is being asked to sign could potentially waive any rights, including his right to bring an action based on any fraudulent conduct observed while at the company.

It is also important for whistleblowers to consider what they want to accomplish by blowing the whistle. While the reward incentives provide a potential mechanism for whistleblowers to be compensated while doing the right thing, many cases do not result in a substantial recovery. Thus, a whistleblower’s motive for reporting fraud should always include a desire to right a wrong, and prevent future harm to taxpayers, the government, and in some healthcare fraud cases, sick or handicapped people.