Unfortunately, unlawful and inappropriate behavior in the workplace is quite common, more common than any of us would like to admit. Workers who witness their higher-ups or coworkers committing some illegal act – or have some reason to suspect that such individuals are abusing their power of position and breaking some federal law – should not hesitate to report them.
California, possibly more than any other state in the country, takes claims of illegal activities in the workplace seriously. So, if you have seen any unlawful conduct in your company occur or have been the victim of such behavior, then you must take the appropriate steps to report the activities. And to make sure your rights are protected. You can do that by reaching out to the expert Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams.
What is Whistleblowing?
As the name suggests, whistleblowing happens when an employee notifies the authorities about a violation of a law, a security violation, or protests to violate the law when urged by their employer. Several whistleblower defense laws protect such behavior, including inside reports of illegal or fraudulent tactics to a superintendent or human resources. Furthermore, measures are taken to correct such illicit or fraudulent conduct. This occurs by forwarding these behavior reports to an external official or any other legal entity such as the state police. Other legal entities consist of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
What is Whistleblowing Retaliation?
If the employer figures out who the whistleblower is and then decides to take some adverse action against that specific employee, the employer is engaging in – what we refer to as – ‘unlawful whistleblowing retaliation.’ In addition to this, retaliation can occur in various forms.
It can range from subtle acts to the most extreme ones, such as an employer terminating an employee after gaining insight that they reported a violation. Retaliation also includes docking their pay, demotion, or refusing to promote the employee when it is warranted by merit, ICE threats, denial of access to resources and training, or rejecting a deserved bonus. Other retaliation behavior includes harassment, intimidating conduct, coercion, or even prejudice.
Whistleblower Protection in California
Orange County, California, protects whistleblowers under all or any circumstances. It does not matter whether they work at private businesses or for local or state companies. As a matter of fact, there are several California laws in motion that apply to the whistleblower as well as retaliation situations.
The California Whistleblower Protection Act, provides immunity and protection for state employees who report illegal administrative activity. Similarly, The California False Claims Act strictly forbids retaliation against whistleblowers who bring forth reports of attempts to defraud the State of California. Furthermore, California law even issues rewards for employees who report such illegal behavior. California has specific whistleblower protections laws for each field – for instance, the medical profession.
In addition to this, there are multiple anti-retaliation services available in federal law that apply to particular forms of allegations. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provide protection for employees who report financial criminality. These include violations of the federal securities laws, too. The federal Whistleblower Protection Act does the same for federal workers who blow the whistle.
Contact A Skilled Orange County Whistleblower Protection Lawyer
To make sure you are fully protected from the vile retaliation tactics, contact an experienced orange county lawyer who specializes in the field of employment. Such theoretical knowledge and practical experience will always bring positive results.