Los Angeles Whistleblower Lawyers
Sometimes employers and workplace leadership break state and federal laws or violate public policy. When this occurs, employees have a right to report these infractions to external authorities who can act against illegal and unethical workplace activity. This right is protected by laws that shield whistleblowers from workplace retaliation. The whistleblower law is designed to protect employees who attempt to uncover actions perpetrated by management that can cause harm to employees or the public. If you have been retaliated against or fired for informing the public and law enforcement about illegal corporate activity, call Mesriani Law Group today for a consultation.
Award-Winning Whistleblower Lawyers
Contact Us Today at (866) 500-7070 or Message Us Online to Schedule a Free Consultation
What Does a Whistleblower Lawyer Do?
Enlisting the help of a whistleblower lawyer will help build your whistleblower retaliation case so you have the best chance of success in your claim. Mesriani Law Group’s whistleblower lawyers will help:
- Investigate your claim, including collecting evidence to determine if laws were broken when actions were taken by your employer
- Outline the proper steps to follow to ensure that your claim is heard and won with the maximum possible damages recovered
- Ensure that the whistleblower complaint is filed with the appropriate law enforcement agency
- Negotiate a settlement to resolve your claim before reaching the courts
- If a settlement can’t be reached, we will file a lawsuit against your employer on your behalf
Why Choose Mesriani for Your Whistleblower Attorney
Who is a Whistleblower?
Under California law, a whistleblower is someone, usually an employee, who exposes illegal, unethical, or unsafe activities conducted by a business. Such activities include fraud, workplace discrimination, employment law violations, environmental damages, and health or safety violations. This is usually done by reporting to the company itself, one of several government agencies responsible for enforcing public policy and laws pertaining to the reported illegal or unethical activity, or the media.
Whistleblower Claims Mesriani Law Group Handles
Whistleblower claims can be extremely complex due to the scenarios that may play out that prompt an employee to come forward and report an illegal or unethical workplace activity. There are several activities that would warrant legal representation:
- If you were terminated for whistleblowing
- If you were penalized for whistleblowing with reduced pay, hours, or benefits
- If you were going to report activity but were prevented from doing so by your employer under threat of termination or penalty
- If you were prevented from filing a formal complaint within or outside of your organization
- If you suffered any other form of adverse actions like libel, slander, or blacklisting which resulted in financial losses outside of the organization
What is Considered Whistleblower Retaliation?
The activities that are generally classified as whistleblower retaliation are:
- Wrongful termination
- Denying promotion / demotion
- Reduced pay
- Reduced hours
- Reduced benefits
- Reduced overtime
- Not hiring
- Intimidation / harassment
How Do I Know If I Have a Whistleblower Case?
If activity conducted by or within a company is illegal, all employees have a right to report the violation to someone internally or externally who can investigate those actions. Once that happens, the reaction of the people in power will largely determine if there is a viable whistleblower retaliation claim. If the resulting reaction is detrimental to the employment or wellbeing of the person reporting the illegal, unethical, or unsafe activity, there is likely a strong case to be made for retaliation against a whistleblower.
What Disclosures Qualify for Whistleblower Protections
The line that separates things that qualify for whistleblower protections can be difficult to navigate. There are several instances in which an individual can report certain activities to help protect public interest. The line that qualifies whistleblower protections fall short if the reported activities are trivial or do not result in harm to the public. The disclosure of activities that are reported but protected usually include:
- Illegal crimes that have been committed
- Injustice in the workplace
- Dangerous activities that impact public or workplace health and safety
- Activities that cause damages to the environment
- Bribes that are allowed to sway the decision of someone with influence
- Fraudulent activity that benefits a company at the expense of public good
Will My Identity Be Confidential If I Become a Whistleblower?
The anonymity of the identity of the whistleblower is largely dependent on whether the whistleblower decides to file a complaint with or without their name attached to it. Normally, if the complaint is filed anonymously, it is much harder for an employer to retaliate so there likely won’t be negative repercussions for filing an anonymous complaint. Also, if the illegal activity that is being reported makes its way to a higher court, there is a chance that the whistleblower will need to make a public statement or testimonial in which their identity may be revealed.
Laws That Protect Whistleblowers
Whistleblower protection laws date back to the Civil War era. Those original laws have adapted to modern times to account for changes in federal and state laws. Most of the employment laws that protect employees also protect them from retaliation against those that do not adhere to those laws.
- Labor Code 1102.5 LC: Does not allow retaliation against employees who report labor law violations or help with an investigation into labor law violations.
- Labor Code 98.6 LC: Does not allow retaliation against employees that report pay violations.
- Labor Code 6310 LC: Does not allow retaliation against employees that report OSHA violations.
- Government Code 8547 GC: Does not allow retaliation against employees that report broken laws, environmental damages, gross misconduct or negligence, and violations of laws designed to protect the health and safety of the public.
- “Qui Tam” section of the California False Claims Act: Does not allow retaliation against employees that report fraud or other financial crimes.
- Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): Does not allow retaliation against employees that report workplace discrimination or harassment.
- Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989: Does not allow retaliation against federal employees that report government waste, corruption, and other illegal activities.
The laws outlined above provide several protections to employees that help shed light on illegal activity.
- The laws prohibit retaliation against whistleblowers that submit formal complaints internally or externally.
- This protection is extended even to those acting on the employer’s behalf.
- The laws also entitle employees to recover damages incurred from whistleblower retaliation.
- The laws also prohibit retaliation against employees who refuse to break the law as directed by a company.
Whistleblower Incentive Programs
Due to the nature of whistleblowers and the benefit they provide to the public, incentives programs were created to encourage whistleblowers to expose illegal activity conducted by companies.
- The California False Claims Act (CFCA) incentivizes whistleblowers that report activities that defraud the state of California. This includes any California state programs like Medical and Medicaid. This incentive program entitles the whistleblowers to up to 50% of any damages that are recovered because of an investigation. This is similar to the federal False Claims Act that rewards up to 35% of recovered damages.
- The California Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (CIFPA) allows a whistleblower to file a lawsuit against a company committing insurance fraud. This incentive program allows any whistleblower to file a claim for the California Insurance Commissioner. If successful, the whistleblower can recoup up to 50% of recovered funds that are won in a lawsuit.
What is a Qui Tam Case?
A false claim generally refers to claims submitted to the government that reports fraudulent activity. These cases are designed to recover tax money that was granted to a company due to fraud. When these claims are submitted by a whistleblower acting on behalf of a government agency, they are known as Qui Tam cases. In these cases, the plaintiff is the whistleblower who brings civil action against those violating public policy or law.
California Whistleblower Damages
Victims of whistleblower retaliation are typically entitled to recoup any financial damages that they incurred from exposing their company. These damages include:
- Back wages and reinstatement of original position after termination
- Lost wages that resulted from pay or hour cuts or demotion
- Penalties that the employer must pay for each violation
Whistleblower Statute of Limitations
Since there are several laws that protect against whistleblower retaliation, there is no set individual statute of limitations. Each law has its own filing deadline that typically starts when the employee is made aware of an adverse action like wrongful termination. These laws have statute of limitations that can range from 30 days to up to 6 years and really depend on the agency in which the complaint is filed. The most common law that pertains to whistleblower protections is the False Claims Act which has a statute of limitations of 3 years.
Contact Experienced Whistleblower Attorneys in Los Angeles
If you have experienced whistleblower retaliation or are considering becoming a whistleblower, it is critical that you speak with an experienced whistleblower attorney. This will help ensure that the proper steps are taken, and that evidence is preserved to maximize the chances that your claim will be successful. Call Mesriani Law Group today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Mesriani Law Group lawyer.
Contact Us Today at (866) 500-7070 or Message Us Online to Schedule a Free Consultation
Whistleblower Lawyer FAQs
This really depends on the size of the settlement but according to the California False Claims Act, a whistleblower can recover up to 50% of the damages gained from the case. The average whistleblower award can be as high as $550,000.
There are federal and state laws that protect whistleblowers with California offering some of the strongest whistleblower protections available. In addition to the strongest protections, the state of California also offers some of the best incentives to become a whistleblower.
Whistleblowing can report the violations of several laws which all have their own regulatory agency and subsequent regulations. Depending on the law that is broken, the statute of limitation can vary between 30 day and up to several years.
Absolutely No Fee Unless We Win Your Case
Mesriani Law Group has over two decades of experience in protecting victims of personal injury accidents as well as employment and labor law violations in California.
Through our wealth of experience, we understand that the main reason why victims of accidents or of unjust treatment by employers are hesitant to file cases or claim damages against the parties at fault, and this is because of the high legal fees.
In order to resolve this matter and help more people get the best compensation they deserve against the people who caused their injuries, pain and suffering and losses, we decided to offer a No Win No Fee guarantee to all our clients. This means that you don’t have to pay us anything for our top legal services, regardless of the complexities of your claims, if we are not able to provide you with the justice you deserve.
We offer this because we are confident that our experience, expertise and dedication will always translate in getting the maximum compensation you deserve at the swiftest possible time. Call our top personal injury attorneys right away for your personal injury accidents or our best employment and labor law attorneys in California for any employee related concerns and we’ll assure you of nothing but the best legal service and personalized client care you deserve.
What Our Clients Have To Say
“I cannot emphasize enough the level of their professionalism and effectiveness. It was great working with Rodney and the whole team at the Mesriani Law Group. The compensation they got me was more than I expected. I highly recommend them. With the Mesriani Law Group you’ll be in the right hands when you have an accident. They’ll take care of your case like no one else and get the maximum that you deserve.“
“After contacting many different lawyers and law firms to discuss my legal issue, I was lucky enough to come across Mesriani Law Group. They took the time to listen to all the details of my case patiently & kept me updated through out the process on a regular basis. His team was very responsive and accessible both via email and phone. Rodney Mesriani and his team did a fantastic job. Let me add that Cory, Stephan and Brandon were very helpful along the way.
Highly recommend this law firm.“
“My insurance gave me the run around for a horrible car accident I was involved in. I was getting so frustrated until i contacted Rodney and his team. Not only was his staff super professional, they actually cared and followed up with me. My case has been settled and I couldn’t be happier. Hopefully I don’t get into any more accidents but if I do, I know where to go. Thanks for having my back Rodney!!!“
Award-Winning Whistleblower Lawyers
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