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.
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:
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:
Or it can be claims of any illegal conduct including those involving wage and hour and:
Other types of retaliation employees suffer other than termination:
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:
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:
Our team of experts can handle a variety of retaliation cases. Examples of the types of whistleblower cases we handle include:
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 Los Angeles employment attorney.
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.
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.
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.
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.“
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 310-294-8773 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.