Is A California Whistle Blower?
Answered By My San Diego Employment Law Office
U.S. law, a whistle blower (or whistleblower) is an employee
who "tells" on an employer, because he or she reasonably
believed that the employer committed an illegal act.
the laws of most states, whistleblowers are entitled to emotional
distress and punitive damages. Now under federal law, any
person who "interferes with" the employment or livelihood
of an employee for providing any truthful information to legal
authorities relating to the commission or possible commission
of any federal offense, can be imprisoned for up to 10 years,
and pay a fine up to $250,000.
Whistle Blower Protection?
blower protection is provided by Federal acts and related
statutes that shield employees from retaliation for reporting
illegal acts of employers. An employer cannot rightfully retaliate
in any way, such as discharging, demoting, suspending or harassing
the whistle blower. If an employer retaliates anyway, whistle
blower protection might entitle the employee to file a charge
with a government agency, sue the employer, or both.
to be entitled to whistle blower protection, an employee must
report an employer's alleged illegal act to the proper authority,
such as a government or law-enforcement agency. If you have
seen an illegal act, my San Diego employment law office can
assist you in contacting the proper authorities.
might not be entitled to whistle blower protection for reporting
an illegal act only within the company. However, the employee
might be protected from retaliation by public policy or other
laws. For example, if an employee reports sexual harassment
to the company's HR department, he or she is protected from
retaliation by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and FEHA.
My San Diego wrongful termination law office can explain the
differences to you.
it turns out that an employer did not actually break a law,
an employee is still entitled to whistle blower protection
from retaliation, if he or she reasonably believed that the
employer committed an illegal act. However, whistle blower
protection typically does not include employer retaliation
for employee complaints about personal dislikes. To be protected
from employer retaliation, an employee typically must report
an alleged violation of State or Federal law that has provisions
to shield whistle blowers. (Though at the state level, some
protect whistle blowers who report alleged violations of any
laws, regulations or ordinances.) Collectively, such provisions
are called whistle blower protections or whistle blower laws.
blower laws and other laws that that have provisions for employer
retaliation protection are enforced by a number of government
agencies. My San Diego employment Law Office can explain these
laws and how they can protect you. For example, the U.S. Department
of Labor (DOL) and its divisions enforce several major laws
that directly protect whistle blowers or have provisions to
shield employees from retaliation, for reporting violations
of the laws, refusing to engage in any action made unlawful
by the laws, or participating in any proceedings under the
whistle blower laws mandate only the minimums to which all
states must adhere. States are allowed to create their own
whistle blower laws, which include or expand upon the minimum
protections afforded by the Federal laws. To research your
state's whistle blower laws, start with the resources listed
in State Labor Law and Employment Law. Alternately or additionally,
contact your state's department of labor.
blowing the whistle, it is a good idea to seek the advice
of an attorney in your state, to ensure a whistle blower law
or a like provision protects you in another law.
have seen your employer conduct an illegal act and you are
not sure how to handle the situation, contact my San Diego
employment law office today to set up a consultation. As a
San Diego whistleblower, you do have rights and you need to