Current through Acts 2023-2024, ch. 488, and 2023EX1, ch. 4
Section 4-18-105 - Prohibition against preventing employees from disclosing information - Violations - Remedies(a) No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency or from acting in furtherance of a false claims action, including investigating, initiating, testifying, or assisting in an action filed or to be filed under § 4-18-104.(b) No employer shall discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, deny promotion to, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of lawful acts done by the employee on behalf of the employee or others in disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency or in furthering a false claims action, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in, an action filed or to be filed under § 4-18-104.(c) An employer who violates subsection (b) shall be liable for all relief necessary to make the employee whole, including reinstatement with the same seniority status that the employee would have had but for the discrimination, two (2) times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, compensation for any special damage sustained as a result of the discrimination, and, where appropriate, punitive damages. In addition, the defendant shall be required to pay litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. An employee may bring an action in the appropriate chancery court of the state for the relief provided in this subsection (c).(d) An employee who is discharged, demoted, suspended, harassed, denied promotion, or in any other manner discriminated against in terms and conditions of employment by such person's employer because of participation in conduct that directly or indirectly resulted in the submission of a false claim to the state or a political subdivision shall be entitled to the remedies under subsection (c) if, and only if, both of the following occur:(1) The employee voluntarily disclosed information to a government or law enforcement agency or acted in furtherance of a false claims action, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in an action filed or to be filed; and(2) The employee had been harassed, threatened with termination or demotion, or otherwise coerced by the employer or its management into engaging in the fraudulent activity in the first place.