Whistleblower Retaliation

Levelling the scales for the little guy


WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION


A whistleblower is an employee who discloses to the public or to proper authorities evidence of wrongdoing on the part of their employer.


Since most employees are considered "at-will" and not covered under contract or a collective bargaining agreement, it can be difficult to separate instances of retaliatory firing from at-will terminations. 

While not all retaliations are committed against whistleblowers, those who call attention to legal or safety issues receive special consideration from the law. 

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, for instance, has an interest in protecting employees who speak up about health and safety code violations, and has made resources readily available for whistleblower protection.


The most obvious form of retaliation is a termination, but retaliation includes a number of unfavorable personnel actions. Such as: 

 

  • Issuing a policy that punishes activity protected by whistleblower law.

  • Blacklisting

  • Demotion

  • Denying Overtime or Promotion

  • Denying Benefits

  • Failure to hire or rehire

  • Intimidation

  • Threats

  • Reassignment to a less desirable position.

  • Reduction of pay or hours

  • Suspension 

 

California Labor Code section 1102.5 states in subsections (a) (b) (c) and (d):

(a) An employer may not make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law 


enforcement agency where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.

 

(b) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.


(c) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.

 

(d) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) in any former employment.

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© 2016 Felahy Employment Lawyers

Felahy Employment Lawyers 

550 S. Hope St. #2655

Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: (323) 645-5197
Fax: (323) 645-5198

info@felahylaw.com