There are many employers in California who are hardworking and follow the rules they are supposed to follow. However, as the goal of most companies is to make a profit, some will do whatever they feel is necessary to make some extra money. This includes illegal activities such as lying on forms to receive extra compensation from the government. Others may falsify gross income reports to boost the value of stock in the company. The government obviously has a strong interest in ensuring this does not happen.
This usually means that the government needs employees within the company to come forward and report the illegal activity. Employees who decide to this can start what is called a Qui Tam lawsuit. Essentially, this a lawsuit filed on behalf of the government that ultimately benefits the government. However, because the benefit is for the government, many employees will need an incentive in order to do so, since there could be serious ramifications for them by starting one of these lawsuits.
These lawsuits can be very lucrative for the government, because the compensation they can win could be up to three times the amount of actual damages. There can also be punitive damages and an additional $5,000 to $10,000 fine on top of that. So, to give employees a reason to start these lawsuits many times the employee receives a percentage of the total amount recovered by the government. This percentage is generally between 15 percent to 30 percent of the total damages, which includes any punitive damages they receive. This percentage is determined by the amount of information the employee can provide as well as whether they were a part of the illegal activity or not.
There are many companies who have contracts with the government or receive benefits from them in some capacity. The amount of the compensation oftentimes depends on the amount of work they do, so some companies falsify reports to make it seem like they are doing more than they are actually doing. This is illegal, and employees who are aware of the activity can start Qui Tam lawsuits for the government and may be compensated well for doing so. Experienced attorneys understand these complicated matters and may be able to guide one through it.