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Employees are protected by law against retaliation for lawful acts done in the performance of their obligations and the pursuance of their rights. This form of protection is applicable in whistleblowing cases—specifically when workers inform authorities of their employers’ illegal actions. Federal and state whistleblower retaliation laws protect informants from employers’ punitive actions. If you are being harassed or discriminated against, or were wrongfully terminated for reporting the illegal conduct or acts of your employer, then you have the right to seek damages against your employer for whistleblowing violations.
As a victim of whistleblowing violations, you can claim compensation for all your damages and losses. These compensations range from your unpaid wages and benefits to remuneration for the pain and suffering and other consequent damages you’ve sustained as a result of your employer’s retaliatory measures. However, you should be aware that not all complaints about the unlawful behavior of your employer can be classified as whistleblowing.
If you are aware of your employer’s illegal acts and you report this to your co-worker, or if you rumormonger against your employer without valid proof or basis and fail to report the said violations to the proper authorities, then these are technically not acts of blowing the whistle against your employer. Hence, you won’t be covered by whistleblower protection laws.
To ensure that you are acting within the bounds of whistleblowing laws, you should seek help from los angeles employment discrimination attorneys who have decades of experience in handling all kinds of employment law violations.
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Mesriani Law Group has dedicated its legal practice to championing the causes of all victims of personal injury accidents and employment and labor law violations in Los Angeles and throughout California.
What to Do in Case of Whistleblowing Law Violations
Whistleblowing occurs when an employee informs the proper authorities or government agencies of his employer’s illegal activities. In California, whistleblowing laws protect state employees from retaliation from their employers. These whistleblowing laws cover employees who participate in a protected activity such as reporting the illegal acts of their employers such as tax fraud, abuse of authority, and other violations of the law.
The California Whistleblower Protection Act protects whistleblowers who work for the state government. Other federal and state laws protect both private and public sector employees against retaliation if they report fraud or other illegal activities of their employers. Hence, if you discover that your employer is doing something wrong or illegal, you have an obligation to report these illegal activities to the proper authorities. In doing so, you have the right to be protected against your employer in case he or she gets mad and gets back at you for reporting his or her illegal actions to the authorities.
If you have complained about your employer to the proper government authorities and you are harassed or discriminated against by your employer after this fulfilling your obligation, then you are a victim of retaliation while your employer is subject to whistleblowing law violations.
Acts Constituting Whistleblowing Violations
Your employer is guilty of whistleblowing violations if you have been discriminated against, harassed, or denied the legal benefits you deserve by your employer after doing the following:
- You reported your employer’s illegal acts to the proper authorities
- You participated in an ongoing investigation against your employer
You have the option of filing a retaliation claim with the proper government agencies to obtain your rightful compensation and other remunerations or even file a case in court for your labor law issues with the help of a Los Angeles whistleblower attorney.
These retaliation claims encompass, but are not limited to, the following damages:
- Back Wages
- Unpaid benefits and remuneration for your pain and suffering
- Other economic and non-economic losses
Why Are Whistleblowing Violations Not Always Reported?
It is not always easy to identify acts of harassment and discrimination as a result of whistleblowing. However, even those employees who recognize their predicament are not always able to report the violations due to the following reasons:
- Lack of Resources – Some employees want to file a whistleblower lawsuit against their employers. However, some of them do not have the financial capacity to pursue their demands and claim damages against their employers who are more financially capable of defending and frustrating the claims against them.
- Fear of Retaliation – Many employees are afraid that filing a whistleblower lawsuit against their employer might jeopardize their employment. These employees are often fearful of being singled out, harassed, or even terminated if they file a complaint against their employers for violating whistleblowing laws.
Penalty for Whistleblowing Law Violations
California law provides that if an employee testifies or aids in any manner an investigation conducted by the proper authorities, then the employee is protected against retaliation from the employer. This position is cemented by federal laws which are designed to curtail this form of maltreatment against employees who participate in protected activities.
Under federal law, specifically the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, any person who “interferes with” the employment or livelihood of an employee for providing any truthful information to legal authorities relating to the act of committing—or possibly committing—a federal offense can be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and pay a fine amounting up to $250,000.00. Aside from the preceding statements, the guilty employer will have to pay all the consequent damages the employee incurred as a result of the violation.
Based on these scenarios, you have ample protection as an employee thanks to state and federal laws against retaliatory actions by your employer. It is up to you to be brave and fight for your rights at work with the help of an expert age, disability, gender, religious, pregnancy, racial, marital status, and civil rights discrimination attorney in Los Angeles. Your whistleblower lawyer can protect you from the big corporations and fight your case so that you’re awarded the just compensation for all your troubles.