Qui tam claims filed under the False Claims Act allow certain employees and other interested parties to file suit against an entity that is defrauding the federal government. When qui tam claims are filed, they are filed on behalf of the federal government, even though the individual who has obtained evidence of fraud is acting practically as plaintiff. These kinds of lawsuits empower both individuals with knowledge of fraud and the government itself to hold fraudulent parties accountable and to recover compensation as a result of a successful suit.
A few weeks ago, an important whistleblower protection proposal was passed by the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). These protections are detailed in the Intelligence Authorization Act for the 2014 fiscal year. This committee passage represents an important development in the area of workers' rights. For while many workers are protected by law when they seek to file whistleblower claims, intelligence workers have not consistently been granted access to this set of legal protections.