The National Whistleblower Center recently filed an Amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar. The legal issue behind the case concerns the False Claims Act, America’s premier whistleblower law and its best defense against government contracting fraud. The question at hand asks whether a contractor can only be held liable for defrauding the government and the taxpayers if they violate the express terms of their contract, or if reasonable interpretations of the requirements can serve as the basis for enforcing against fraud as well.
Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center presents original documents showing the intent of the False Claims Act

The Supreme Court handed down a ruling today in Kellogg Brown & Root v. United States ex rel. Carter, holding that whistleblowers don’t get extra time to file civil false-claims lawsuits when the United States is at war. However, the Court was unanimous in finding that it was improper for the trial court to dismiss Carter’s one live claim under the first-to-file rule.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion for the Court stating, “Not only does petitioners’ argument push the term ‘pending’ far beyond the breaking point, but it would lead to strange results that Congress is unlikely to have wanted.”

Stephen M. Kohn, the executive director of the National Whistleblower Center and an author of the NWC’s amicus brief, made the following statement about the Court’s ruling:

Continue Reading FCA Whistleblowers Celebrate Partial Victory at Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. January 22, 2015. Today the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) proposed a rule that it claims would extend protections under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act to employees of Federal contractors.  However, the unintended consequences of OSC’s proposed rule may cause more harm than good for employees of federal contractors.

This rule may cause confusion and interfere with other preexisting rights contractors have under other laws.  OSC should reconsider whether such a rule is even necessary given that employees of contractors already have stronger whistleblower protections under state and federal law than federal employees.  In any event, if the proposed rule is enacted it should be amended to make sure this confusion or weakening of other rights does not occur.    
Continue Reading OSC Proposed Rule For Federal Contractor Employees May Cause Confusion