Workplace retaliation is illegal under California and federal law, but despite numerous laws prohibiting such behavior, it does occur in workplaces across the state. Indeed, California’s extensive protections for whistle-blowers extend beyond what many other states and the federal government provide. California is considered to be a very employee-friendly state, perhaps the friendliest in the country. This means that if you are the victim of workplace retaliation in Los Angeles, the law, and our team of experienced employment attorneys, are on your side.
What is a Whistle-blower?
A whistleblower is someone who calls attention to unlawful behavior or activities in the workplace. Whistle-blowing covers many areas of business across every industry, and can result from workplace discrimination, predatory sales practices, and/or dangerous working conditions, to name a few. If you believe you’re experiencing retaliation at your work for reporting unlawful behavior, speak with an employment lawyer about your rights.
California Laws Protecting Whistleblowers
In California, there are two main laws that are intended to protect whistleblowers from retaliation in the workplace: California Labor Code §1102.5 and Labor Code §6310.
Section 1102.5 prohibits retaliation against any employee for disclosing information, or because the employer believes that the employee disclosed or may disclose information, to a government or law enforcement agency, or to a superior in the employer’s organization, so long as the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of law or regulation. This law protects not only actual whistleblowers, but also those who an employer fears may be a future whistleblower.
Under Labor Code §6310, it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee for complaining about health and safety issues in the workplace, or out of fear that that person might complain to governmental authorities about such issues.
In order for an employee to show that s/he has been the victim of workplace retaliation for being a whistleblower, the employee must show the following:
· That the employee engaged in a protected activity;
· That the defendant subjected the employee to an adverse employment action; and
· That there is a causal link between the two.
Generally speaking, employees have up to three years to file claims if they’re seeking monetary damages. An employee who has been retaliated against in violation of California or federal may be entitled to recover monetary damages, including lost earnings, emotional distress damages, and sometimes punitive damages.
For a free, no obligation consultation about your whistleblower claim, contact the atotrneys at the Law Offices of Eric A. Boyajian today.