What Protection Is There For Whistleblowers?

On Behalf of Law Offices of Reisner & King LLP |

Jan 04, 2021 |

When an employee is placed in a compromising situation by their employer, it is natural that they have concerns about losing that job. In this challenging job market, employees are working above and beyond to make sure they can maintain their livelihoods and job security. If an employer makes an employee privy to information regarding illegal activity or makes them complicit somehow, they may have additional worries about a criminal charge.

Understanding the protections available

For those employees facing retaliation by an employer, California has whistleblower protection laws. Those who have successful whistleblower retaliation suits against an employer could receive compensation in the way of lost wages and benefits to potential punitive damages related to their tarnished reputation. Here are some of the forms of retaliation that an employee might endure after a whistleblower report:

    • Being demoted or placed into a different role
    • Overlooked for promotions, despite high performance
    • Interference in an employee’s work duties
    • Hostile working environment or intolerable conditions

Know who is covered

The California whistleblower laws, in conjunction with federal laws, protect both private and public employees. Recently, the University of California was granted an $8.6 million settlement from Verizon and AT&T. The suit began eight years earlier after a third party acted under the False Claims Act to file on behalf of the state, claiming that the providers did not correctly optimize rates under a contractual discount plan. If a person recognizes illegal or unethical activity, it is crucial to understand what protections may be available for their livelihood.

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