The State of California encourages any employee who has reason to believe their employer is in violation or non-compliance with a state or federal regulation to notify an appropriate government or law enforcement agency of the misconduct. Some employees are hesitant to report violations because they are afraid of retribution or retaliation. The State of California protects whistle blowers from these concerns through California Labor Code Section 1102.5, which prohibits retaliatory action from the employer.
If you are considering reporting a violation or have already done so and are concerned about retribution, you should speak with a Los Angeles employment attorney for guidance. A whistle blower can play an important role in correcting current or past wrongdoing in the following places of employment:
- Public or private businesses
- Governmental facilities
- School districts
- Community college districts
- Political subdivisions
- University of California – California Labor Code Section 1105
California Protections For Whistle Blowers
The California Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report illegal activities to an outside agency or who refuse to participate in illegal activities. To qualify for the protection against the following possible reprisals, an employee must “reasonably believe” the activity is a legal or public policy violation. Examples of wrongful retribution include:
California Labor Code Section 98.6 requires an employer to take the necessary steps to comply with the law and may require the employer to reinstate a terminated whistleblower’s employment, work benefits and lost pay.
Examples of violations brought to light by conscientious whistle blowers include:
- Unsafe working conditions
- Environmental Protection Agency law violations
- Financial fraud
- Fraudulent Medicaid and Medicare medical billing
- Submission of false claims to government programs
- Government purchasing and procurement
- Sexual harassment
- Disregard for public safety
A California whistle blower is supposed to be treated the same as any other employee. If your report of misconduct results in any repercussion, you should speak with a qualified Los Angeles employment lawyer.