Despite claims by offending companies, whistleblowers aren’t getting rich by reporting their employers. If anything, they suffer steep consequences and often wait years before receiving compensation. Here are the facts about whistleblowers and these cases.
There is little growth in the average whistleblower payment. According to available data, from 1987 through 2005, the median share for whistleblowers was $123,855. By 2009, this number increased merely to $144,000. There is no account for inflation or cost of living increases.
Furthermore, those are the recovery numbers before removing attorney fees and taxes. (However, reports on False Claims Act claims are partially tax-deductible.) Once attorney fees and taxes are deducted, the whistleblower receives an average of $56,000. That amount is just below the median salary of a U.S. employee in 2009.
Meanwhile, corporate executive pay continues to rise, even when they continue to do wrong. There are no “exorbitant bounties” happening in the whistleblower world!
Whistleblower awards are not immediate, either. The average qui tam claim takes years to resolve. According to data from 1987 through 2005, the average qui tam claim took three years to conclude, with some cases taking as long as 15.5 years.
While waiting for their claims to resolve, whistleblowers often face financial strain and difficulty finding new work. If anything, reporting the misdeeds of their employers can compromise a whistleblower’s survival. Very few people can go years without a steady income.
An act of conscience shouldn’t ruin you, but that is the unfortunate reality for many whistleblowers. Talk to a whistleblower attorney first if you find your employer engages in illegal, fraudulent, or reckless behavior. A skilled whistleblower lawyer at the Kardell Law Group can help you determine the best way forward. Call our office to schedule a consultation.