Fired for Having to Be A Whistleblower?

Experienced & Aggressive Whistleblower Retaliation Attorneys in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney

The state of California takes a hard stance against employers who are in violation of local, state, or federal regulations. To encourage the discovery of such acts, the state encourages employees to speak out when they feel that there are instances in which an employer violates such policies. When an employee reports their concerns to a government or law enforcement agency, they are considered a “whistleblower.”

Some employees are fired or threatened with termination when they report violations of state law such as discrimination, harassment, fraud, violence, wage and hour or health and safety violations.  The complaining/reporting can be internal (within the company) or to the authorities (government agency like DFEH, EEOC, EDD, SEC, police…) Under California law such retaliation by employers is illegal.

best whistleblower retaliation lawyers in los angeles

Whistleblower Protection Laws

For employees who worry about reporting violations against their employer, the law is on your side. Because of the importance of holding employers accountable for their actions, there are a multitude of laws and statutes that protect employees, each covering different scenarios. Examples of whistleblower laws include:

  • Labor Code 1102.5 – General Whistleblower Protection: This encompasses most of the situations a whistleblower may be concerned with. Under this statute, California protects employees from retaliation when they disclose information about violations that they reasonably believe their employer has committed. It also covers them when they provide testimony in any litigation against an employer for regulatory or legal noncompliance. Even if the employer is found to be innocent of the allegations, an employee who reports the information is protected from retaliation.
  • Government Code 8547 GC et seq – Public Employee Whistleblower Protection: Commonly referred to as the “California Whistleblower Protection Act,” this specifically covers individuals who work for the California state government. Under these protections, public employees are protected if they report any violations of executive orders, regulations, law, or court orders. They are also protected when reporting situations that threaten the health or safety of employees or economically wasteful governmental activity.
  • Health and Safety Code 1278.5 – Healthcare Worker and Patient Whistleblower Protection: This law helps to protect patients, nurses, medical staff, or other health care workers from retaliation when they report unsafe patient care or unsafe conditions. It calls for penalizing violating employers with criminal and civil penalties.
  • Education Code 44110 – Reporting by School Employees of Improper Governmental Activities Act: If an employee of a public school reports violations against school administrators or other educational entities, they are protected against retaliation through employer civil and criminal penalties.

Reporting Your Employer

Fair Employment and Housing violations, such as sexual harassment, discrimination and other employment law violations. These can be internal complaints to employers or external complaints to the EEOC or DFEH.

There are many different forms of whistleblowing, but examples include the following situations:

  • An employee suspects their employer of criminal activity and shares those suspicions with law enforcement.
  • An employee suspects regulatory or legal violations and reports them to their supervisor or boss, who has authoritative powers to investigate.
  • Employees suspect that their employer has violated labor laws or wage and hour laws and report those violations to the Labor Commissioner.
  • A public employee has information about wasteful, incompetent, or inefficient economic spending and reports that to the California State Auditor.

Or it can be claims of any illegal conduct including those involving wage and hour and:

  • Violations of health and safety regulations (i.e. OSHA)
  • Fraud or deceptive business practices
  • Falsification of financial documents
  • Violations of obligations to shareholders or business partners (SEC)
  • Tax fraud
  • EDD Unemployment fraud

Other types of retaliation employees suffer other than termination:

  • Demotion
  • Hours cut
  • Pay cut
best los angeles whistleblower retaliation attorneys

Whistleblower Retaliation

Whistleblower retaliation is very similar to wrongful termination or other forms of employment retaliation. As an at-will employment state, California holds that employees can be terminated from their jobs for any reason at any time. However, it must be within the bounds of the law and nondiscriminatory. Both whistleblowing and public policy wrongful discharges offer the following protections by banning employers from terminating employees who:

  • Refuse to violate the law.
  • Perform a legal obligation.
  • Act on a legal right or privilege.
  • Report alleged violations of the law.

If an employee is terminated under one of the above circumstances, they are within their rights to file a claim against their employer under whistleblower protection laws. To begin the process, you not only have the option to file a claim in superior court, but you also have the right to file a claim with state agencies that oversee labor laws, such as the Labor and Workplace Development Agency or the California State Personnel Board.

In a whistleblower retaliation claim, you could seek any of the following:

  • Being rehired into your previous position within the company
  • Reimbursement for lost wages
  • Reimbursement for legal fees
  • Expungement of employment records for anything relating to the incident
  • Compensatory damages

Types of Retaliation Cases We Handle

Our team of experts can handle a variety of retaliation cases. Examples of the types of whistleblower cases we handle include:

  • fired for complaining of sexual harassment
  • fired for making health complaint to OSHA
  • demoted and hours cut for complaining of sexual harassment
  • fired for complaining of prevailing wage fraud
  • fired for seeking Family and Medical Leave
  • fired for filing claim with the Labor Commissioner
  • fired for complaining about overtime and other wage and hour violations
  • fired for complaining about workplace discrimination
  • fired for making an SEC complaint
  • fired for refusing to make false claims to the EDD Unemployment Department


Q: Can I Sue My Employer for Retaliation in California?

A: Yes. Under California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office, there are several laws and statutes that protect employees from retaliation, discrimination, and pay inequity. The option to file a claim against employers is a right awarded to employees, former employees, and job applicants. The statutes for filing can be determined with your employment attorney.

Q: How Do You Prove Whistleblower Retaliation?

A: Evidence of whistleblower retaliation can come in the form of emails, witness statements, and documented interactions with your employer. This evidence should show how your specific report or complaint against regulations or legal violations committed by your employer were the reason for your termination.

Q: What Is the Average Whistleblower Settlement?

A: Whistleblower claims are filed to seek specific damages. However, many of the settlements are also calculated based on the outcome of the report they filed. For example, if there are civil penalties associated with an investigation, the whistleblower could be entitled to 15% to 30% of the settlement, depending on which agency is involved.

Q: What Is Considered Retaliation in California?

A: When an employer punishes an employee, even though they are engaged in a legal act, it is considered retaliation. This can happen for any number of reasons. Most often, it stems from reporting fraudulent or inappropriate behaviors carried out by individuals or groups within the organization.

Los Angeles Whistleblower Attorney

Doing the right thing should never be a question. That includes within your place of employment, particularly when you witness or discover legal or regulatory violations committed by your employer. In these instances, however, it is important to protect yourself. If you or someone you know has been fired or mistreated because they had to tell the truth, please contact us for a free confidential consultation. While laws and statutes are in place to help you through the process, having an expert employment attorney on your side can help keep those protections in place throughout the process. At the Shirazi Law Firm, PC, our expert team of attorneys has the knowledge and experience to help you through the process. Before you report your employer, contact our office and let us help keep you protected.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

Emanuel is one of the best lawyers that I have ever met. Emanuel and his team worked so hard and had a rebuttal for everything that the defense attorney had. Emanuel and his team did such a wonderful job that the defendant fired their attorney and went straight to settlement and made me whole again.

Case Focus: JD

JD - Whistleblower - Shirazi Law Firm

JD was terminated in retaliation for refusing to engage in his employer’s illegal and fraudulent conduct and complaining about the illegal acts.

JD realized his employer was defrauding its customers, shareholders, the government, and the general public on a whole host of issues.  He did not want to take part in this and complained to the company and the government about the fraud.

The misrepresentations were widespread and included lying to the government, lying on financial statements, and lying about safety violations, etc…

JD’s employer terminated him for his complaints of illegal conduct.  The employer’s action was in violation of California’s whistleblower laws, including California Labor Code section 1102.5.  

JD hired us and we got him justice.

If you have been retaliated against for whistleblowing at work, our firm may be able to get you justice too. Give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

“I cannot recommend Mr. Shirazi enough! I was wrongfully terminated from my long term job. I didn’t know where to turn and found Mr. Shirazi. He took the time to talk to me for an hour explaining what legal rights I had. Upon hiring Mr. shirazi he kept me up to date on every step and was honest and upfront with me. He worked miracles and got me a great settlement. Mr Shirazi handles only employment cases and his expertise was invaluable to my case. if you find yourself in need of an employment attorney, Mr. Shirazi is the one to call.”


Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.