In short, a whistleblower is someone who reports the wrongdoing or illegal activities of their employer or other company. This person is typically an employee or former employee and reports things about health or safety issues in the workplace, corruption or fraud in the business, or other dangers to employees and the public.
Whistleblowers are an integral part of keeping businesses accountable for their actions and treating their employees fairly. Whistleblowers are responsible for the massive changes that came about as a result of Watergate, Enron, Worldcom, and more. However, many workers are afraid that their bosses or coworkers will retaliate against them for reporting unsafe or illegal working conditions and other illegal activities. This is why whistleblower laws have been put into place in the United States.
Whistleblower Protections in California
Whistleblowers are protected by several levels of legal protections from the federal government down to state and local governments. At the federal level, OSHA has The Whistleblower Protection Program, which is a combination of more than 20 laws to protect whistleblowers. Workers in California are additionally protected by some of the strictest employment laws in the country. The California Whistleblower Protection Act protects those who report violations at their workplace. The Labor Code also includes provisions about whistleblowers. In addition, many California cities have whistleblower programs in place to address problems at a local government level.
But which of these protections apply to you? That can be difficult to determine. Working with a California employment lawyer can help sort through the legal jargon and make sure your case is dealt with correctly.
Why Whistleblowers May Need Legal Help
There are certain rules and procedures that California whistleblowers must follow to provide the most legal protection against retaliation. Speaking with an employment law attorney before whistleblowing is always advised. Here are a few reasons why you should consult with a California whistleblower attorney:
- There are certain time limits about when you can and cannot file a whistleblower complaint, and the timelines vary by industry.
- There are more than 20 federal laws that apply to whistleblower complaints. You will likely need an attorney to figure out which law your complaint falls under.
- Whistleblower complaints may get filed with multiple agencies. Not every case goes through OSHA, and some do not end up in a traditional court system. An attorney can help you determine the proper place to file your complaint.
- The procedures are different for whistleblowing against private and government employers.
An experienced California employment lawyer can help protect your rights before, during, and after reporting. In a whistleblower retaliation case, you may be able to recover lost wages and other monetary damages from your employer.
Call Davtyan Law Firm Today
If you are considering a whistleblower action, contact an experienced California attorney today. Davtyan Law Firm exclusively handles employment law cases all over the state. Whether you are dealing with retaliation, discrimination, or another employment law issue, you can count on attorney Emil Davtyan. Call Davtyan Law Firm today at (818) 275-5799 for a free consultation.