Employment – Whistleblower Protection
Whistleblower Protection Law
Whistleblower laws protect employees from being retaliated for reporting their employers’ violation of law or breach of public trust. For instance, if an employee was terminated from work for reporting his company’s misconduct of dumping waste into a local river, he can file a lawsuit against his employer.
The law provides protection from retaliation to employees who notify of their employers’ unlawful activities to police or a government agency, their supervisor or another public agency with authority.
An employer should not set and enforce any rule, regulation, or policy that prevents an employee from reporting the employer’s violation of law. When an employee reports any wrongdoing, the employer should not retaliate against the employee who is a whistleblower. Also, an employer should not retaliate against an employee who refuses to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state or federal rule or regulation. California law also penalizes persons or agencies that represent or work for the employer that has retaliated against an employee who has notified of the employer’s illegal activities. Additionally, an employer may not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights as a whistleblower in any former employment.
If whistleblowers face retaliation from their employers, California whistleblower protection law ensures that employees are compensated for the damages incurred. According to California Labor Code Section 1102.5, if an employer retaliates against a whistleblower, the employer may be required to reinstate the employee’s employment and work benefits, pay lost wages, and take other steps necessary to comply with the law. Additionally, the employer may be required to provide appropriate compensation for tarnished reputation.
California employees of public sector and private companies can report their employers’ wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. It is explained further on California State Auditor’s website about the scope of retaliation against whistleblowers and the process of pursuing a lawsuit.
If your employer commits any violation against the state or federal law or any shareholder’s trust, you should notify by calling the California State Attorney General’s Whistleblower hotline.
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