Vermont False Claims Act and Whistleblower Laws

Vermont False Claims Act
Vermont adopted its version of the False Claims Act in 2015. The bill was signed by Governor Peter Shumlin on May 19, 2015. It largely mirrors the Federal False Claims Act, providing for treble damages, qui tam lawsuits and whistleblower rewards of 15 to 30 percent of the recovery. The law further allows for whistleblower protection against retaliation via a lawsuit to recover compensation, including double back pay and attorneys’ fees.
A VT whistleblower with evidence of health care fraud in Medicare or Medicaid may also file a Federal False Claims Act lawsuit and seek recovery of the federal portion of government spending. The federal law permits rewards of between 15 and 30 percent of the recovery.
Other Vermont Whistleblower Laws
The Healthcare Whistleblower’s Protection Act protects employees of hospitals nad nursing homes against retaliation for reporting violations of the law, reporting medical errors and improper quality of patient care, reporting conduct that risks a person’s health or safety, involvement in a government investigation, or the refusal to participate in any activity that you reasonably believe violates the law, constitutes improper care, or will endanger your life. The law protects whistleblowers only if they are employed by a hospital or nursing home, tell their employer about the problem and allow a reasonable time for it to be corrected, and have a good reason to believe the employer will not correct the problem.
Vermont also offers protection to whistleblowers against retaliation for reporting workplace safety issues.
Vermont’s public sector employees are covered by a whistleblower protection statute that prohibits retaliation in order to allow reporting of fraud, waste and abuse in good faith. The law excludes divulging confidential information under state or federal law.
Vermont 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.
Special Disclaimers
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.