How Do Job Duties Impact Eligibility For Whistleblower Awards?
- posted: Feb. 01, 2024
- Whistleblower Litigation
Assessing a whistleblower's job duties is critical for determining eligibility for rewards. By checking early on how a whistleblower's job might affect their chances of getting a reward and protection, their lawyer can help them create an effective plan to get the most compensation and better defend against retaliation.
Here are some of the eligibility restrictions of various reward programs which are related to job duties:
False Claims Act
The False Claims Act has restrictions on qui tam actions related to armed forces members. There are no restrictions on federal employees bringing qui tam actions, as long as they do not run afoul of the public disclosure bar: the information forming the basis of the action can not have been publicly disclosed through specific channels, such as government reports, hearings, audits, or the news media, unless the whistleblower is an "original source" of the information.
The Dodd-Frank Act imposes eligibility restrictions on whistleblower rewards, prohibiting the SEC from paying awards to whistleblowers who obtained information through their work in certain regulatory, governmental, or law enforcement positions. Additionally, SEC regulations state that a whistleblower's information is not considered "independent knowledge" if it was acquired in their professional role, including positions like officers, directors, trustees, partners, compliance or internal audit personnel, and those employed by firms investigating securities law violations or independent public accountants conducting securities law-required engagements. However, certain exceptions to this rule may apply.
Anti-Money Laundering Act
Unlike the Dodd-Frank Act, The Anti-Money Laundering Act reward program lacks similar eligibility restrictions for senior corporate officials, compliance personnel, or auditors.
IRS Whistleblower Reward Program
The IRS whistleblower program limits eligibility to individuals obtaining information through government work or contracts.
Understanding complex eligibility rules is essential for whistleblowers seeking awards. Factors like avoiding delay and understanding award size determinants, such as internal reporting and interference, are vital. Working with an experienced whistleblower attorney from the Kardell Law Group can enhance the chances of a successful award process.