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Los Angeles Whistleblower Attorney

The term whistleblower refers to anyone who reports an employer for violating the law or breaching public policies. Blowing the whistle on an employer’s unlawful acts is the right of every employee in California and around the country. The law helps encourage whistleblowing by offering protections for employees who speak out about violations. Learn about your rights as a whistleblower with help from a Los Angeles whistleblower protection lawyer at The Law Office of Omid Nosrati. We have more than 10 years of experience in this field and can handle your claim with the utmost skill.

Let Our Attorneys Protect You as a Los Angeles Whistleblower

As soon as you make plans to blow the whistle on employer misconduct, talk to our attorneys in Los Angeles. It’s best to speak with a Los Angeles whistleblower protection attorney before you ever take your claim to external authorities. That way, you know exactly what information to gather, where to take your claim, how to go about filing, and how to detect any possible employer retaliation against you. One conversation with our employment lawyers can open your eyes to rights and legal opportunities you didn’t know you had.

Federal & State Laws Protect Whistleblowers, Call Our Attorneys and Let us Protect Your Rights (310) 553-5630

We offer free, zero-obligation and confidential case evaluations . Call (310) 553-5630 or submit our new client contact form to schedule your whistleblower protection consultation with Mr. Nosrati or one of his Los Angeles employment attorneys.

What are California’s Whistleblower Laws?

Several federal and state laws are in place to protect whistleblowers. The main law in The Golden State is the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Under this act, employees are free to report issues in the workplace without fear of retaliation. Issues can include fraud, embezzlement, wasting the city’s resources, abuse of authority, law violations, or threats to public or employee health and safety. The act protects employees from retaliation with provisions such as:

  • Any person who intentionally retaliates, threatens or coerces an employee or job applicant because he or she filed a claim is subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment in county jail up to one year.
  • Any person who retaliates for making a protected disclosure shall be liable for damages against the injured party, including lost wages, attorney’s fees, and emotional suffering. The courts may also award punitive damage if the employer’s actions were egregious.
  • In a legal action against an employer for whistleblower retaliation, it is the employer’s burden to demonstrate “clear and convincing evidence” that the action in question came about in no way because of the protected disclosure, and instead occurred for “legitimate, independent reasons.” Failure to meet this burden of proof gives the employee affirmative defense in the legal action.

The California Whistleblower Protection Act grew stronger with the passing of three additional laws back in 2014. The new laws expand the prohibition of retaliation against employees to include employees who report suspicions of violations internally, such as to a supervisor within the organization, as well as employees who report to external public bodies investigating violations.

Liability can now fall upon any entity, beyond just the employer, that acts on behalf of the employer to retaliate against the employee. Even if reporting a violation goes beyond your job duties, the state’s whistleblower laws protect you from retaliation.

Your Rights As a Whistleblower in California

In general, any person employed by a private or public entity is granted whistleblower protection. Here, a public entity includes not just individuals employed by the state or any of its agencies/subdivisions, but also those employed by any county or municipality.

As to the state’s whistleblower protection statute, it applies whenever the employee discloses information to a government/law enforcement agency, supervisor, or other employee vested with both investigative and remedial powers, that he or she has reasonable cause to believe will reveal any of the following:

  • Violations of state or federal law
  • Noncompliance with or violations of local, state or federal rules/regulations
  • Unsafe working conditions or work practices

It’s important to understand that the whistleblower protection statute also applies where an employee declines participation in any activity that would 1) violate state or federal law, or 2) result in noncompliance with or violations of local, state of federal rules/regulations.

The degree of protection afforded by the state’s whistleblower statute:

  • Employers cannot draft, enforce or adopt policies, regulations or rules designed to prevent employees from acting as whistleblowers.
  • Employers cannot retaliate against employees who act as whistleblowers (i.e., revealing illegal conduct, exposing rule violations, etc.).
  • Employers cannot retaliate against employees who decline involvement in illicit activities otherwise covered by the whistleblower statute.
  • Employers cannot retaliate against employees for having acted as whistleblowers in any former employment setting.

As to what workplace retaliation might look like, it’s important to understand that while it can be fairly blatant, it can also be far more subtle, yet no less pernicious.

By way of example, after learning that an employee has reported an act of wage theft to the California Department of Industrial Relations, an employer would be prohibited from taking any of the following actions as a sort of retribution:

  • Terminating or demoting the employee
  • Transferring the employee to a less desirable position
  • Making the employee’s working conditions more demanding (i.e., changing day shifts to night shifts)
  • Giving the employee a performance report that doesn’t accurately reflect the quality of the work performed

In the event an employer is determined to have violated the whistleblower protection law, they are subject to fines, and may be ordered to either reinstate or reimburse the affected employee. Furthermore, the affected employee must know that they may also have the option of pursuing a civil action against their employer.

If you believe your employer has either terminated you or retaliated against you for reporting malfeasance, consider speaking with an experienced wrongful termination attorney as soon as possible.