Utah False Claims Act
Utah has passed a False Claims Act providing for civil lawsuits brought by the state to recover funds lost due to false statements or false representations concerning applications for medical benefits or in the determination of a right to a medical benefit. However, it does not provide for whistleblower rewards – there is not a qui tam provision or authorization for the payment of an award for information.
Other Whistleblower Reward Laws in Utah: The Securities Fraud Program Act
In 2011, Utah followed the model of the Dodd-Frank Act and authorized rewards for securities whistleblowers. In 2014, the Utah Securities Commission approved its first whistleblower reward of $15,000 to a financial advisor that reported a suspicious investment promising low risk and high returns for his client.
Utah Whistleblower Protection Laws
Public and private employees in Utah are protected from discharge or discrimination for filing a complaint or exercising a right granted by the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Utah has also created a judicial public policy exemption to its at-will employment doctrine which may protect whistleblowers. The public policy exemption prohibits discharge for reasons contravening public policy. However, as with any judicially created doctrine, there is no statutory scheme to declare what does and does not contravene public policy. Potential whistleblowers are urged to consult with a whistleblower attorney concerning their rights.
The Utah Protection of Public Employees Act prohibits state agency employers from taking adverse actions against employees reporting suspected violations of the law, giving information to an investigation, or objecting to a directive that the employee reasonably believes violates Utah or federal law.
Utah employees are also protected by a variety of federal whistleblower laws and programs which entitle them to compensation for retaliation and rewards for information that results in the successful recovery of monetary sanctions.
Whistleblower laws are complex and contain many terms and conditions. These summaries are intended to be brief introductions to the law and not a detailed coverage of the intricacies of the law. For additional information about one of these laws, please contact our whistleblower lawyers at 1-800-590-4116.
Note: McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt attorneys represent whistleblowers under federal whistleblower reward programs established at the Justice Department, SEC, CFTC, IRS, NHTSA and other federal agencies. We selectively handle client cases involving state law retaliation issues where there is a corresponding claim for a federal or state reward. In certain states, we may do so through association with an employment lawyer licensed in the state where these acts happened because our lawyers are not barred in every state. We generally do not represent public sector (state employee) whistleblowers.
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