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Whistleblowing Retaliation

Employment Lawyers Protecting the Rights of California Workers

Whistleblowing RetaliationOften, whistleblowers are employees who realize that their employers have engaged in fraud or misconduct. They may raise legitimate concerns about misconduct and find that their employers try to retaliate against them. There are several California and federal laws in place to protect whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers. If you are subject to whistleblowing retaliation for reporting a suspected violation of a law, you should consult the Orange County whistleblower lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm.

California Whistleblowing Retaliation

California law includes protection against many forms of whistleblower retaliation. California has some of the most protective whistleblower laws in the country. Retaliation may take the form of wrongful termination. However, it can also include other adverse actions, including those that result in working conditions that are so intolerable that they amount to constructive termination. Retaliation can involve suspension, demotion, failure to promote, or denial of access to training or resources needed to do the job.

California Labor Code Section 1102.5

The most commonly used whistleblower statute is California Labor Code Section 1102.5, which prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports information that the employee reasonably believes may amount to a violation of a federal, state, or local law, regulation, or rule. Your employer cannot retaliate against you if you disclosed, or if the employer believes that you disclosed, information to a law enforcement agency or the government if you had reasonable cause to believe that the information disclosed a violation. Even if it turns out that your employer did not violate the law, you will be protected against retaliation if your suspicion was reasonable.

To establish a claim for retaliation, a whistleblower attorney in Orange County will need to show that it is more likely than not that you engaged in a protected activity, you experienced an adverse employment action, and there was a causal link between the adverse employment action and your protected activity. You need to be able to supply either circumstantial evidence or direct evidence of these elements.

The California False Claims Act

Another California whistleblower statute is the California False Claims Act. This law is meant to prevent private contractors from submitting fraudulent or false invoices for payment to get overpaid for goods or services. An action filed under the California False Claims Act will be filed under seal so that the state has time to investigate the claim. The FCA prohibits knowingly presenting a false claim for approval or payment, knowingly making a false record to get a false claim approved or paid by the government, knowingly conspiring to defraud the government by getting a false claim paid or allowed, knowingly delivering a receipt by an authorized person that misrepresents property to be used by the government, knowingly delivering less money or property than is shown on a receipt or certificate, knowingly making a false record to avoid, conceal, or decrease an obligation to pay money to the government, or being a beneficiary of an inadvertent false claim and finding out that it is false, but failing to disclose to the government in a reasonable time.

Our Orange County whistleblower attorneys can help you hold an employer liable if it retaliates against you for disclosing information to the government about false claims. An employer that violates the False Claims Act, whether by terminating you or by otherwise punishing you, can be liable for double back pay, interest, special damages, and punitive damages, and it may need to reinstate you.

Federal Law

There are also many federal whistleblower statutes, including the federal False Claims Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, and Dodd-Frank. Under the federal False Claims Act, for example, whistleblowers are protected from retaliation by employers. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee due to lawful acts performed by the employee in furtherance of a lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act.

Consult an Experienced Retaliation Attorney

If you were subject to whistleblowing retaliation, you should discuss your options with the employment attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm. We represent people in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Call us at 1-800-LAW-8825 (800-529-8825) or contact us via our online form for a consultation with a whistleblower lawyer in Orange County.

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