When companies engage in illegal or unethical acts, brave individuals must speak up and hold them accountable. If your company has mistreated you because you exposed wrongdoing, you may be able to bring a whistleblower case to seek justice for your mistreatment.

Let's look at how whistleblowing is handled, both by the law and our prescreened California Employment Lawyers.

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The California Whistleblower Protection Act: An Overview

Whistleblowing is protected by federal law, but individual states often enact stricter legislation to protect employees from reprisal by their employers. That is, at least, the case in California, where the California Whistleblower Protection Act protects both public and private employees against retaliation.

The CWPA received fresh vigor for whistleblowers once it was strengthened in 2014. It applies to anyone acting on behalf of an employer, from independent contractors to third-party consulting firms. It goes well beyond most other state whistleblower statutes. Furthermore, civil damages can cover a wide range of claims, including reinstatement in rare instances.

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The California Labor Code also imposes the following requirements:

  • Employers are required to display a complete list of whistleblower rules and obligations in the workplace.
  • Employers must allow workers to participate in protected activities like testifying in court or filing a discrimination complaint.
  • Employers are not allowed to fire employees who file a complaint or speak out against illegal behavior (perceived or otherwise).
  • Future employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who have previously filed whistleblower complaints with other organizations.

That said, you'd need to show proof that you've been discriminated against or retaliated against to file a whistleblower claim. Consult a California Labor Law Attorney to help you gather evidence and submit claims to the proper channels.

What Is the Process for Filing a Whistleblower Claim?

You don't need irrefutable proof of a legal infringement to become a whistleblower. You only need "reasonable cause" to believe that your boss is breaking the law.

You have the right to report suspicious activities to law enforcement or a government agency, regardless of the suspected offense.

This is why, rather than reporting the issue internally, it's a good idea to file a claim with the appropriate agency first to avoid whistleblower retaliation and guarantee that the problem is thoroughly investigated.

Whistleblower lawsuits are filed by employees who believe they have witnessed illegal or unethical behavior and have been retaliated against as a result.

If you believe you were fired because of retaliation or discrimination, but there is no evidence that your employer did anything wrong, you should file a wrongful termination lawsuit or file a discrimination claim if your dismissal was based on a protected category. You can do so with the assistance of a California Employment Attorney.

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What is the Whistleblower Claim Statute of Limitations?

Your whistleblower lawsuit's statute of limitations (or deadline) will be determined by the nature of your claim.

In general, you have three years to file a whistleblower complaint with the California Superior Court.

Still, you may only have six months to file your initial complaint with the California Labor Commissioner if you are reporting labor law breaches.

Because this area of the law is so complicated, you should consult with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Of course, companies will use all of their tools to keep employees from speaking up, but a prescreened California Labor Lawyer can help protect your rights.

Find A California Employment Lawyer Near Me 

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