What is a whistleblower?A whistleblower is an employee who witnesses or becomes aware of his or her employer’s violation or noncompliance with federal or state laws, rules, and regulations, and reports the violations to a government or law enforcement agency or to an appropriate authority who also works for the employer. Employees who report unsafe working conditions or practices or employees who refuse to participate in any employment activities that would result in the violation of laws or regulations are also entitled to whistleblower protections.
What protections are offered to whistleblowers?Under California law, whistleblowers are offered the following protections:
- An employer may not adopt or enforce regulations or policies that would prohibit an employee from becoming a whistleblower.
- An employer may not retaliate against an employee who reports or refuses to participate in any workplace conduct that would result in violations of federal or state laws and regulations.
- An employer may not retaliate against an employee because he or she was a whistleblower in a prior employment.
What is retaliation?Retaliation occurs when an employer takes action to fire or otherwise harm an employee’s job because he or she was a whistleblower. Examples of retaliation may include firing or demoting an employee, giving negative performance reviews or evaluations, ostracizing the employee, making hostile comments about or to the employee, job transfer, blacklisting the employee with managers and executives, or any other negative treatment or behavior towards the employee because he or she was a whistleblower.
Glendale employment law attorneysOur employment law team at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers has helped many whistleblower clients secure financial compensation for the damages they suffered due to employer retaliation. Our settlements and jury awards include multi-million dollar figures and other redress. Depending on the facts of the case, remedies and damages may include:
- Compensation for lost wages and lost future earnings
- Reinstatement of prior employment and benefits if the employee was fired or demoted
- Promotion if the employee was denied promotion
- Punitive damages
- Emotional distress