Retaliation for Reporting Violations (Whistleblower)
California law also bars employer retaliation against employees for “whistleblowing” (reporting violations of state or federal law to governmental agencies) or for refusing to violate federal or state law, either on the present job or in any former employment. If “whistleblowing” is shown by a preponderance of evidence to have been a “contributing factor” to adverse action against the employee, the burden shifts to the employer “to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the alleged action would have occurred for legitimate, independent reasons even if the employee had not engaged in” the protected activities.
In addition to other liability, a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation may be imposed against a corporate employer.
Notably, employers are required to post a notice of employees' rights and responsibilities under the whistleblower laws, including the telephone number of a whistleblower “hotline” maintained by the Attorney General.
If you suspect that you have been subject to retaliation or termination for “whistleblowing,” contact a whistleblower attorney at Workplace Justice Advocates, a Professional Law Corporation, to discuss your rights and options.