Employees are afforded many rights in California. One of these is whistleblower protection. Whistleblowing refers to an instance in which an employee reports their employer for breaching public trust or violating a law. This is an extremely important employee right not only because it can help keep employers in check, but also because it protects employees who do the right thing. It is worth noting that California’s whistleblower laws afford protection to employees in both the private and public sector.
These laws were strengthened this year with the addition of three new laws. Among the additional protections the new laws added were:
- Employee protection against employers using individuals outside the company to retaliate against employees for whistleblowing.
- Protection for employees who report suspected violations to external authorities in the form of “any public body” carrying out an investigation or hearing.
- Protection for employees who report suspected violations to internal company authorities such as supervisors.
Employees who have suffered retaliation for whistleblowing have likely had their rights violated, and they may be able to bring a lawsuit against their employer or former employer. A successful lawsuit could see the plaintiff compensated for damages caused by the retaliation. Plaintiffs may be able to recoup lost wages and even gain reinstatement. More detailed information on California’s whistleblower laws can be found here.
Employees have many other rights that protect them from being mistreated by their employers. Employees who have faced discrimination or sexual harassment at their place of work could also likely file a claim, as could those who feel that they have been wrongfully terminated. Each of these claims would of course likely meet a staunch defense from the accused, which is why it can be important for wronged employees to seek legal representation to help them build a solid case.