One of California state’s primary policy goals is to encourage people to report legal and ethical violations.
However, many unsavory employers are willing to punish employees who speak up about illegal or unethical actions that happen in the workplace.
To combat this, several whistleblower laws in California were enacted to protect employees who report their employer’s illegal activity.
Specifically, these laws prohibit retaliation against employees who have reported their employers for violating state law.
Compared to many other states, the California whistleblower law offers stronger protections for whistleblowers.
But it is vital that potential whistleblowers understand state law on this matter.
Read on to learn more about the protection that is available to you if you are in a position where you need to blow the whistle on illegal activity in the workplace.
If you think your employer is retaliating against you because you filed a report against them, don’t wait.
Section 1102.5 of the California Labor Code is the primary whistleblower protection statute.
It states that employers cannot prevent employees from giving information to the government or an investigatory authority.
There is only one requirement for an employee who wishes to report their employer.
Specifically, the employee must have a reasonable good faith belief that their employer has violated state or federal law.
In contrast to many other states, California does not require the employee’s disclosure to relate to their job duties.
So, if you work as an accountant for a bank, you can report the bank for breaking the law even if the violation does not have anything to do with accounting.
Whistleblower retaliation can show up in all shapes and sizes. The most obvious kind of retaliation is demotion and termination.
However, other acts that can be retaliation include:
- Failure to promote to a higher position that you deserve,
- A change in job duties or responsibilities,
- Denial of training,
- Threats, and
- Preventing you from having access to your work tools.
Some forms of retaliation are obvious. Others are far more subtle.
In many cases, it takes legal assistance to identify and obtain the evidence you need to prove retaliation.
California law does not punish whistleblowers for making claims that turn out to be false.
All an employee needs to show to receive whistleblower retaliation protection is that they had a reasonable good faith belief a violation occurred.
Of course, if you make obviously false or intentionally untruthful claims, you do not get protection under the law.
Reporting almost any kind of illegal or unethical behavior entitles employees to whistleblower protections.
Examples include things like fraud, tax evasion, discrimination, harassment, labor issues, and environmental violations.
However, minor workplace problems or disagreements probably do not qualify.
Depending on the actions your employer takes against you, you can receive a variety of remedies.
Potential remedies would include reinstatement if your employer terminated you.
You can also receive lost wages, back pay, and compensation for emotional distress for a job termination.
All public-sector and private-sector employees are eligible for protection under California State whistleblower laws.
However, it can be difficult to understand all the nuances of the whistleblower law in California.
Fortunately, our team of skilled employment law attorneys at Workplace Rights Law Group is standing by to help you. Several facts help us stand out from the crowd.
For one, we’ve dealt with all kinds of whistleblower retaliation cases. That means we understand how stressful workplace retaliation can be.
Second, our dedicated attorneys have decades of collective experience representing clients. Together, we can get you the representation you deserve.
If you’re suffering from whistleblower retaliation, know that you don’t have to be a victim.
Instead, you can take charge of the situation and exercise your rights. If you’re still not sure whether you need an attorney, take a moment to review our amazing results.
You also might want to see how we’ve changed our clients’ lives for the better with our services.