California created whistleblower retaliation laws to help people protect themselves when they are whistleblowers against their employers. Many employees are scared that their employers will retaliate against them and that they will no longer be able to work in the industry.
Whistleblowers in California are protected from retaliation under Section 1102.5 of the Labor Code. This section prohibits employers from taking adverse action against an employee who reports an unlawful or unsafe work practice. This article teaches about California Section 1102.5 of the Labor Code whistleblower retaliation laws.
What is California Section 1102.5 of the Labor Code?
California Section 1102.5 of the Labor Code is a state law that protects employees from retaliation by their employers. The law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against employees who report wrongdoing or participate in an investigation concerning their employer.
If your employer has retaliated against you, you could file a claim under this law. Retaliation can take many forms, including termination, demotion, suspension, or harassment.
To prove your claim, you must show that you reported wrongdoing or participated in an investigation and that you suffered adverse action from your employer. You will also need to show that the adverse action was taken because of your report or participation in the investigation.
If you believe you have been retaliated against, you should hire a whistleblower lawyer in California to discuss your case. An attorney can help you gather evidence to support your claim and file a lawsuit if necessary.
What Are the Whistle-Blower Retaliation Laws?
Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation in several ways, including:
- Employers are prohibited from firing or demoting whistleblowers.
- Employers are prohibited from disciplining whistle-blowers in a way that negatively impacts their careers.
- Employers are prohibited from retaliating against whistle-blowers in any other way that would discourage them from reporting misconduct.
Whistle-blower retaliation laws also provide employees with a cause of action if their employer retaliates against them. This means that employees can sue their employers if they believe the employer has retaliated against them by violating the law.
Mental Health Advocates
In county mental health facilities, starting in 2020, advocates for patients’ rights may not be prevented from presenting information or testifying as long as they have a good faith belief that their report violates the law. Additionally, businesses cannot penalize employees for making whistleblower complaints.
How Do These Laws Protect Employees?
Employees who report these violations are protected from being fired, demoted, or retaliated against by their employers. These laws also protect employees from being harassed or intimidated by their employers for reporting these violations.
California whistleblower retaliation law is important because it allows employees to report illegal or unethical behavior without fear of retaliation. Employees can also trust that their reports will be treated seriously. This law is a safeguard for both whistleblowers and the public.
What Are The Penalties For Employers Who Violate These Laws?
Penalties for employers who violate California’s whistleblower retaliation laws can be harsh and severe. Employers may be liable for damages, including lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, and punitive damages. In some cases, employers may also be required to pay civil penalties to the state.
Employers who are found to have retaliated against a whistleblower may also be subject to misdemeanor criminal penalties. Under California law, a misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 to retaliate against a whistleblower.
If you have been retaliated against for blowing the whistle on your employer, an experienced employment attorney in California could help file a claim against your employer.
Are There Any Exceptions to These Laws?
Yes, there are a few exceptions to the whistleblower retaliation laws in California. One exception is if the employee was not engaged in protected activity when the retaliation occurred. Protected activities include reporting misconduct or refusing to participate in illegal activity. If the employee was not involved in one of these activities, then the employer may not be liable for retaliatory action.
Another exception is if the employer can show that the retaliatory action was taken for a legitimate business reason. For example, if an employee is fired for poor performance, this would not be retaliation. The employer would need to show a valid reason for the action taken.
These are just a few exceptions to California’s whistleblower retaliation laws. Employers should be familiar with these exceptions to ensure they comply with the law.
California Section 1102.5 of the Labor Code is a powerful statute that protects employees who have been retaliated against for whistle-blowing. If you have suffered retaliation at work, you should speak to an experienced labor attorney about your case to see if this law applies to you.