As an employee in Los Angeles, it can be challenging to speak up when you witness wrongdoing at your workplace. You might worry about losing your job or being retaliated against. However, California’s whistleblowing laws ensure employers follow the law and behave ethically.
Whistleblower Protection Act
The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) is a federal law that protects federal employees who report wrongdoing at work. The WPA was passed in 1989 to shield whistleblowers from retaliation for disclosing information they believe is evidence of a violation of the law or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. Five years prior, in 1984, California enacted its own kind of WPA to protect State citizens from whistleblower retaliation.
The act offers several protections for whistleblowers. For example, it prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report wrongdoing. Retaliation can take many forms, including reprimands, suspensions, demotions, harassment, and threats.
Also, the WPA provides for damages, including lost wages and benefits, attorney fees, and compensation for emotional distress.
Federal Protection for Whistleblowers
Several other statutes protect whistleblowers on a federal level. The False Claims Act protects employees who report their employer’s fraudulent activities. The act allows whistleblowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government and receive a percentage of any money recovered. The False Claims Act also provides for damages and attorney fees.
Another law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Act, protects employees who report workplace health and safety regulation violations. This act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report violations and provides for damages and attorney fees.
Examples of Retaliatory Conduct
Retaliation is not always easy to recognize. Employers may take overt actions, such as firing, demoting, or suspending whistleblowers. However, retaliation also involves more subtle forms, such as excluding whistleblowers from important meetings or projects, reducing their workload, or increasing scrutiny.
In some cases, employers may even try to tarnish the reputation of whistleblowers or spread false rumors about them. Such actions can be devastating and make it challenging for whistleblowers to find new employment.
Finding A Los Angeles Whistleblower Attorney Protect You
If you have witnessed wrongdoing at work and are considering blowing the whistle, or if you have already done so and are facing retaliation, seek legal advice. A whistleblower attorney in Los Angeles can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Whistleblower cases can be complex, and the procedures for filing a whistleblower claim can be daunting. A whistleblower attorney can help you navigate the process and provide legal representation if your case goes to trial. They can also help you negotiate settlements or reach other favorable outcomes.
Blowing the whistle on an employer can be challenging, even if it brings wrongdoing to light. But remember, the law may be on your side. If you are considering blowing the whistle or if you are already facing retaliation for speaking up, it is essential to seek the advice of a whistleblower attorney.