Orange County Whistleblower Protection Lawyers
Employees who speak up about wrongdoing sometimes suffer backlash. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Don’t be a hero. Don’t be a snitch.
The whistleblower is not the bad guy. If you were fired or harassed for reporting illegal activity in the workplace, you may have a strong case for retaliation. The attorneys of California Employment Counsel, APC, can assert your rights and remedies under state and federal whistleblower laws.
You Are Protected For Doing The Right Thing
Under the California whistleblower law, as well as corresponding federal statutes, you are legally protected when:
- Reporting an employer’s fraud or criminal activity
- Refusing to participate in illegal acts
- Reporting discriminatory employment practices
- Reporting safety violations or environmental abuses
Some whistleblowers are terminated on the spot. Others are forced to quit because they encounter a hostile work environment. Whistleblower retaliation takes many forms: threats or intimidation by a supervisor; harassment or isolation by co-workers; or negative performance reviews, demotion or transfer by management.
Our employment lawyers will intervene to protect you from reprisal and pursue monetary compensation for the harm you have suffered. This may include back pay, front pay, damage to your reputation and career, and damages for emotional distress.
Under the federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers may also be entitled to a percentage of any money recovered by the government in a civil fraud prosecution. Our attorneys can explore a lawsuit if your employer defrauded the government.
How California Law Protects Whistleblowers
You should never be punished for speaking up when something is wrong. However, many employers do not agree. They retaliate against whistleblowers by firing them, refusing to promote them and more.
Thankfully, the state of California has extensive whistleblower protections, and they cover those who report violations of local laws and regulations. The new statute also protects employees who report wrongdoing internally, whether or not they file a formal complaint with a government agency.
However, you still need an experienced attorney to help you. California Employment Counsel, APC, is a firm dedicated to employment law, and our team can answer your questions and help you pursue justice.
How the Law Protects You
Under California whistleblower law, an employer or someone acting on their behalf cannot:
- Punish you for internally reporting suspected violations
- Prevent you from disclosing information to law enforcement or a government agency such as the IRS or OSHA
- Retaliate against you for reporting suspected violations of federal, state or local laws and regulations
- Retaliate against you for refusing to participate in an illegal activity
The old law required workers to register a complaint with an outside investigating agency. Under the new law, you are protected as a whistleblower when you inform your supervisor that you oppose a practice, or when you report suspected violations to someone within the company who has supervisory or investigative authority. This protects you sooner and gives your employer less chance to retaliate.
It is important to note that you do not have to prove that the triggering activity was illegal. If you believed that it violated a law or regulation, the law protects you.
It is not uncommon for an employee to witness a fraudulent or criminal act and simply stay quiet for fear of retaliation.
At California Employment Counsel, APC, we understand that many employees want to do the right thing, but are afraid of retaliation like being fired, demoted or more. We can help you protect yourself from retaliation, while still being able to do the right thing and report the incident.
What Does Retaliation Encompass?
Based on an employer’s actions, retaliation can mean many things, including:
- Threats or general intimidation by a manager or supervisor
- Isolation by co-workers
- Harassment by co-workers
- Negative performance reviews
- Transfers to other departments or locations
These forms of retaliation can lead to a hostile work environment and can hurt a worker’s chance for promotion or advancement.
Retaliation and Unpaid Overtime
Not paying your employees overtime is illegal and wrong. Retaliating against them for complaining is disgusting and inexcusable.
It is right to expect fair payment. It is normal to be angry at your employer for cheating you. You may be able to do something about the retaliation you have been subjected to. That is where we come in.
We Hold Employers Accountable for Their Wrongdoing
At California Employment Counsel, APC, we hold employers accountable for unethical treatment of their employees, which includes retaliation against those who speak up. If we can help you, we will.
Our attorneys are highly experienced and trained in key areas of employment law. We can answer important questions like:
- Will I be able to get back overtime pay?
- Is it hard to win a case involving unpaid overtime?
- Will my employer be punished for not paying overtime?
- Can I get my job back (if I lost my job and I want it back)?
- What if I am being punished by my manager?
These questions can have a huge impact on your life. If you are facing retaliation, get some peace of mind by talking to a lawyer.
Suffering Retaliation After Reporting a Violation?
They’re called whistleblowers for a reason: Like a referee in a game, these employees make noise when a rule has been broken. They try to alert others to a serious problem. Maybe you are one of them.
While reporting violations is admirable, as it helps everyone comply with the law, employers do not always see it that way, and may retaliate. The attorneys at California Employment Counsel, APC, understand the struggles you may be experiencing if you have been targeted for ill treatment by your employer, simply for speaking up.
Were You Demoted, Terminated, Harassed or Punished?
In California, it is illegal for an employer to punish or retaliate against an employee for reporting violations. If you were demoted, terminated, harassed or punished for complaining about a violation, you can hold your employer accountable. Common violations reported by employees include:
- Serious pay violations such as unpaid overtime, employee misclassification and problems with meal breaks
- Punishment for complaining about sexual harassment or other forms of employee harassment
- Employment discrimination based on race, disability or another serious problem
- Health and safety issues
These complaints are not trivial: it is important that employees feel safe reporting them and are not retaliated against. Our lawyers are dedicated to making sure you are protected.
We Stand Up For California Whistleblower Employees
Coming forward is scary, even if you know it is the right thing to do. The law is on your side, and so is the legal team at California Employment Counsel, APC.
Contact us online or call our Orange County office at (714) 462-8376 for a free consultation. We represent plaintiffs on a contingency fee basis; no attorney fees unless we recover compensation.
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