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Are you protected if you blow the whistle on your employer?

Imagine that you have been working in the same office in Sherman Oaks for the last few years. Things were going well until a new manager came on board and starting making changes. You have started seeing things happen that do not seem right. Management has started firing good employees, taking short cuts where they shouldn't and even denying your own claim for medical leave.

There are certain laws in place to protect employees. There are wage laws that keep employers from using unfair pay practices. There are health and safety regulations with which every employer has to comply. And, there is the Family Medical Leave Act that your boss must also adhere to. When you see your supervisors or employer violate employment laws, it is within your rights to report it. You may be concerned with losing your job for filing a complaint, but there are whistleblower laws in place to protect you from that and any other retaliation.

Federal laws

There are various federal laws in place that include whistleblower protections. For example, the Clean Air Act, Compensation and Liability Act and Safe Water Drinking Act all contain provisions for whistleblowers. These laws generally have to do with workplace safety and environmental protections that employers have to follow. If you are relying on a federal law to provide you with an umbrella for blowing the whistle, you must make the violation report with a good-faith belief that your employer is breaking the law.

State laws

In most states, whistleblowers protections are in place to provide employees with a safety net if they report a violation. These laws often prohibit discrimination or retaliation if an employee blows the whistle on illegal activity. However, these do vary from state to state, so if you intend to report a violation, be sure you are familiar with the laws in California. Also, read over your employment contract and employee handbook to find out if there is an internal process you must follow before reporting any problems to the authorities. You might find out that circumventing such procedures could put you in violation of your contract.

If you have suffered retaliation or discrimination because of internal or external whistleblowing activities, you might be able to take legal action. Remember, as an employee, you do have certain rights.

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14724 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1210
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

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