Under the qui tam provisions in the federal False Claims Act (FCA), employees, corporations, and private or public interest organizations may sue a company that defrauds the federal government. The legal action is brought on behalf of the government and the whistleblower, and an individual who brings a qui tam claim may stand to receive a sizable reward.
Employers who fail to give proper notification of a mass layoff could be subject to penalties, including payment of wages the laid-off employees would have received after the required notification of the layoff. Individual workers whose employment has been inappropriately terminated in a mass layoff may bring a lawsuit against the employer on behalf of other workers who are similarly situated. This sort of class action can result not only in compensation for employees' lost wages, but also civil penalties against the employer.
While whistleblowers are protected under federal laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, some states -- Connecticut, for instance -- have laws that go further than federal law in protecting employees who report corporate wrongdoing. Now the Connecticut Supreme Court is in a position either to restrict or maintain the whistleblower protections that apply on the state level.