Whistleblowing refers to the act of informing others, particularly law enforcement officials, about illegal or shady business dealings that your employer is engaging in. Obviously if an employee discovers that their illegal actions have been reported to the authorities by an employee, they may seek to punish that employee either by firing them or harassing them at work. Fortunately for honest employees seeking to do the right thing, they do not need to worry that they will have to suffer such a fate.
California has extremely strong whistleblower laws that are designed to ensure that whistleblowers in California are protected. Obviously it is impossible to prevent an employer from taking action against a whistleblower, but the law does allow employers who take such action to be held accountable for their actions. This could mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines and even up to a year in jail.
In addition to the legal penalties that an employer may suffer for retaliating against a whistleblower, the employee can be compensated for their mistreatment. This compensation can include wages lost due to wrongful termination, monetary compensation for any wrongful treatment endured and you could even have your employment reinstated if you were fired.
If you have been mistreated or punished for whistleblowing, remember that you have rights, and you do not have to suffer for exercising them. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney who is familiar with California employment law to gain a better understanding of your rights and how to take advantage of them. Legal assistance can help you build a stronger case so that you are more likely to receive justice for any wrongful treatment you suffer by your employer.