When an individual witnesses or has evidence of fraudulent activity within their place of work that violates the False Claims Act and they come forward with that information, they are referred to as a whistleblower. This whistleblower is also referred to as a Qui Tam relator. Instead of being referred to as the “plaintiff,” they are referred to as a relator because the lawsuit is more or less on behalf of the government rather than for the individual. The individual is simply blowing the whistle on what they know is fraudulent activity happening within their place of work. They are also considered to be a private party since they are a civilian. They simply have knowledge of wrongdoing and they are revealing that knowledge through a Qui Tam lawsuit in order to do what’s right.
However once the government intervenes, this whistleblower, or Qui Tam relator, is awarded a percentage of the money recovered by the government. This can be anywhere between 10% or 30% of that amount. This is what is stipulated under the False Claims Act. But this is not awarded until the government has intervened. This individual must also be the first person to come forward with the claims. If anyone comes forward before them with claims that are the same or similar, then that individual is not entitled to any compensation.
Also, Qui Tam is under the False Claims Act and it states that the relator is protected from any retaliation by their employer for their duties to the government. If the employer violates that part of the False Claims Act, then they will be held liable for that violation. They are not to demote the relator, suspend or harass the relator in any way. Just because the individual was a whistleblower does not give the employer grounds to treat them any differently than they did before the Qui Tam lawsuit took place.
So basically, a relator is just a fancy term for the informer. They technically are not a plaintiff, but they are the individual who brought on the lawsuit through their information. If you believe that your employer has violated the False Claims Act and you have grounds for a Qui Tam lawsuit, don’t be afraid to come forward. Whistleblowers against government fraud have done great services to their country. You can be confident, especially with us on your side. Let one of our lawyers help you determine if you have a case. We can walk you through the entire process and make it as painless as we possibly can. You will certainly be glad you did because you are not only protecting your own tax dollars, but you are protecting the tax dollars of millions of Americans. You are simply doing what is right.