In Nesbitt v. Candler County, 945 F.3d 1355 (11th Cir. 2020), the Eleventh Circuit established an important precedent on the causation standard to apply for a False Claims Act retaliation claim. In Nesbitt, the Eleventh Circuit focused on the crucial statutory language in the phrase “because of” in the antiretaliation provision of the False Claims Act and concluded that the “but for” causation standard should apply. In reaching this conclusion, the Eleventh Circuit was persuaded to follow two Supreme Court decisions, Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 570 U.S. 338 (2013), and Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs., Inc., 557 U.S. 167 (2009), which involved nearly identical language in two other employment discrimination statutes. With its decision in Nesbitt, the Eleventh Circuit joined the Third and Fifth Circuits on the applicable causation standard under the antiretaliation provision of the False Claims Act.
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