If you report that your employer violated a law, you are providing a valuable service to the community. Although it may be hard, the decision to report fraud or illegal action is often the right one. If you have blown the whistle on your employer, or you are thinking about blowing the whistle, you should know that state and federal laws do protect you against unlawful retaliation by your employer. If your employer is pressuring you to participate in illegal activities; you were fired, suspended, or retaliated against for reporting illegal activities; or you just want to discuss your options, contact an experienced Los Angeles whistleblower attorney. Our whistleblower lawyers in Los Angeles can explain and help you protect your rights as a whistleblower. In California, the whistleblower protections have been greatly expanded. Under Labor Code 1102.5.
An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information, or because the employer believes that the employee disclosed or may disclose information to a person with authority over the employee or another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties.
In plain English, a California employee with reasonable cause who reports to a supervisor or investigating employee any violation of state or federal or local law, and who is terminated, demoted, ostracized, or otherwise treated adversely, as a result, has a cognizable whistleblowing claim. This is much broader than prior versions of the law and provides many more California employees with greater protection and rights than ever before. Likewise, an employee who refuses to engage in unlawful conduct and who is retaliated against as a result, may state a claim for damages under this law.
In addition, California also has specialized whistleblower protection laws to protect health care workers, such as nurses, medical technicians, and physicians. These laws have powerful provisions to protect health care workers who complain about patient safety issues.The Rubin Law Corporation has a great deal of experience representing health care workers, nurses and physicians.
What We Do in Whistleblower Claims
At The Rubin Law Corporation, our lawyers have represented many clients in whistleblower claims and other employment-related claims throughout Southern California. We are on your side and we can take action for you. In cases of whistleblowing, our whistleblower attorneys in Los Angeles can help you:
- Determine the viability of you claims under state and federal whistleblower laws such as:
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which protects employees of publicly traded companies who report corporate fraud or securities violation.
- State and federal laws that prohibit retaliation against employees who report violations of workplace safety laws, misuse of government funds or other illegal activity.
- Attempt to resolve your claim without litigation by mediation or direct negotiation as feasible;
- File a lawsuit on your behalf;
- Pursue a qui tam action, under the False Claims Act if you have evidence that your employer was defrauding the federal government;
- Determine a fair severance or settlement amount in respect to your claim;
- Consider references, terms of separation, and so forth with a view toward your future employment.
Protecting Whistleblowers From Illegal Retaliation by Their Employers
Federal and state whistleblower laws protect you from retaliation by an employer for reporting illegal activity or fraud. Retaliation can include negative changes to your working conditions or employment status made to punish you for blowing the whistle.
Our lawyers help clients when an employer fires or discriminates against them for refusing to participate in or reporting an employer’s unlawful activity. We also help clients with qui tam actions where a whistleblower reports an employer’s misuse of government funds.
One whistleblowing case that our firm successfully resolved involved a client who was an officer in a large, multinational company. After discovering a product defect in manufacturing facilities around the world, he reported it, and was fired. But before a lawsuit was even filed, we successfully mediated a settlement package for him. His career credentials and reputation remained intact. The whole process was concluded in a few months.
Frequently Asked Questions About California Whistleblower Laws
As an attorney for employee rights, attorney Steven Rubin has met with thousands of clients. Here are some of the most frequent questions asked by a potential whistleblower. This should not be construed as legal advice. If you are in need of an attorney, contact a law firm that handles this type of claim.
What constitutes “whistleblowing”?
Simply speaking, a whistleblower is an employee, contractor, or concerned citizen who reports illegal, unsafe, or unethical activity to the appropriate authorities. The individual usually has some inside information that is not available to the ordinary observer.
How can I blow the whistle on illegal, unethical, or unsafe behavior?
The answer to this largely depends on the type of organization suspected of the illicit behavior, the criminality of their actions, and the level at which it’s occurring. For instance, government whistleblowers can usually report illegal conduct to the branch that oversees that employee or group of employees. Whistleblowers can usually report violations of the law to law enforcement. If you are aware of workplace safety violations, you can contact Cal/OSHA.
What is the Federal False Claims Act?
This is a federal “qui tam” law that dates back to 1863. The False Claims Act allows private citizen whistleblowers to pursue civil suits on behalf of the Federal Government. If the suit is successful, whistleblowers are eligible to claim a portion of the funds recovered.
How can whistleblowers file a qui tam action if they suspect fraud?
By law, qui tam suits must be filed under seal in a federal district court. In most whistleblower cases of this sort, the reporter needs the legal advice of experienced whistleblower attorneys to navigate the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures. If you are in Southern California, contact a Los Angeles whistleblower attorney like Steven Rubin today. He has extensive experience with whistleblower cases and can guide you through the nuances of a qui tam lawsuit.
What do I do if I fear workplace retaliation for whistleblowing?
The state of California takes a hard line on whistleblower retaliation. If you report fraud or another type of illegal activity, however, you may face either subtle or overt retaliation. That’s where a Los Angeles whistleblower attorney can help. Steven Rubin’s law firm protects whistleblowers in Los Angeles and southern California. Call today.
What protections can I expect as a whistleblower?
Under state and federal law:
- Employers cannot enact policies or rules that are meant to stop whistleblowers from reporting fraudulent or illegal activity.
- Retaliating against whistleblowers is illegal.
- Employers cannot compel employees to participate in illegal activity.
- Current employers cannot retaliate against an employee for whistleblower actions against past employers.
One of your greatest protections is your anonymity. In most cases, it’s better to report the action without speaking to your employer first.
For further information, contact the Rubin Law Corporation today.
Contact a California Whistleblower Attorney Today
At The Rubin Law Corporation, our whistleblower lawyers in Los Angeles use years of experience and legal knowledge to fight for you. We handle a wide variety of employment law and labor law matters, but take a personal approach to each case, addressing the unique needs of our clients.
Contact us by e-mailing us or by calling us at 310-385-0777 to speak with an experienced Los Angeles whistleblower lawyer about your rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act.
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