For informational purposes only. Always consult an attorney to obtain competent legal advice.

 

Federal Law Claims

Federal Claims, In General

  • There is a vast body of federal laws in the United States. Even more vast are the rules and regulations that the various federal agencies have created to enforce the federal laws. While way beyond the scope of this Survey, some of the more useful federal laws are described below. 

  • Any alleged violation of federal law may be brought in federal court. 

 

False Claims or "Whistleblower Act"

  • Also known as the “Whistleblower Act”, the objective of this federal law is to encourage individuals to “blow the whistle” on companies that are defrauding the federal government.

  • In general, any whistleblower whose claim results in a recovery of funds by the U.S. government is entitled to an award equal to a percentage of the recovery -- usually 15% or more. Thus, awards can be for a few thousand dollars or as high as tens of millions of dollars, depending upon the amount recovered by the U.S. following settlement or trial.

  • By far, the majority of whistleblower awards are from recovery of Medicare/Medicaid payments or related to Department of Defense contracts. For example, a physician recovered a multi-million dollar award by claiming a drug manufacturer was collecting millions in payments from Medicare as a result of improper sales methods. In another case, an employee of a multi-state home care agency reaped millions following a multi-million dollar settlement of her claim that the agency was improperly billing Medicare for a period of time.

  • Any overpayment of federal funds due to fraud or improper billing practices can be the basis of whistleblower claims, not just Medicare/Medicaid and defense spending.

  • The Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program is a provision of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that encourages the reporting of fraud and other securities violations to the Securities Exchange Commission.

The 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

  • This is a federal anti-hacking statute that makes unauthorized use of a computer a crime. It was written so as to prohibit accessing a computer “without authorization” or in a way that “exceeds authorized access.”

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Americans with Disabilities Act

  • The federal ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability.

  • The Act, for example, requires employers to provide "reasonable accommodations" to employees with disabilities, and generally requires that buildings open to the public have entrance ways and rest room accommodations for the disabled.

Title IX

  • Title IX is a federal law aimed at ensuring equal treatment of male and female students in educational institutions.

  • For example, Title IX has been used to force secondary educational institutions to equalize the amount of financial support for men's and woman's sports programs.