In 2005 New York City enacted a whistleblower statute similar to the federal whistleblower law, the False Claims Act, to encourage individuals to report misconduct on the part of federal contractors and corporations, who committed fraud against the government and the public.  Those individuals, known as whistleblowers, are often the employees of the federal contractors and corporations that they are filing whistleblower lawsuits against.  Whistleblower employees are often subjected to whistleblower retaliation by their employers, causing them a lot of financial and emotional damages.  Whistleblower laws afford whistleblowers both whistleblower protection and whistleblower rewards

New York City Whistleblower Law

Prior to the enactment of New York City False Claim Act, New York City already had a city employee whistleblower law, but it did not offer enough protection for whistleblower.  The New York City False Claim Act allows whistleblowers who file a lawsuit on behalf of the government and earn up to 30 percent of any settlement for reporting the fraud.  The New York City whistleblower law focuses on fraud among contractors working for the city.  New York City is now one of at least sixteen states or municipalities which have passed laws to protect local governments from contractor fraud. Proponents of the New York City False Claims Act argue that New York City will gain more than $30 million every year, as more whistleblowers are encouraged to report misconduct.

New York State Whistleblower Law

In 2005, New York State passed the New York State False Claims Act.  This New York whistleblower law allows a private citizen with inside knowledge of fraud to bring a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government and to receive up to 30% of the proceeds. The New York legislature, while investigating potential Medicare fraud, uncovered significant and diverse fraud being committed on the state, as well as fraud on local governments.  With a total New York state budget of $120.9 billion, and a budget for New York City alone of around $50 billion, the law has the potential to return billions in stolen public funds to the state’s taxpayers.

New York Whistleblowers

In 1998, New York City and New York State were ordered to pay $49 million as settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit initiated by a New York City social worker, Bracha Graber, who alleged that New York fraudulently collected hundreds of millions of dollars between 1990 and 1994 for foster care services that the city and state billed the federal government for but did not provide.  This brave New York whistleblower sued under the federal False Claims Act, because New York whistleblower laws at the time were not adequate and did not provide sufficient whistleblower protection.  Graber received 4.9 million as compensation, which she donated to charity.  

New York Whistleblower Lawyers

The attorneys at Bernstein Leibhard LLP provide experienced legal representation to New York whistleblowers and offer information and advice to clients on in filing a New York whistleblower lawsuit.  If you have a New York whistleblower lawsuit, contact one of experience, trial-ready attorneys today.

Published November 17, 2011 by