What Exactly Is Whistleblowing?
“Whistleblowing” is when a worker makes a complaint that his or her company is violating the law. Workers that “blow the whistle” on their particular companies are safeguarded legally. If they’re terminated or otherwise retaliated against for whistle blowing, these workers are able to file a lawsuit against the employer for wrongful termination.
To truly “Whistle Blow”, the employee should talk about the unlawful behavior to a person outside of the organization. It ought to be a government, regulatory or even law enforcement organization.
Should the worker simply make a complaint to a person within the organization, that isn’t true whistle blowing, and also the employee isn’t protected by the same whistle blower laws and regulations. Nonetheless, the worker could be protected by different regulations. For instance, it’s unlawful to dismiss a person for making complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination, even if those complaints are only made internally.
Exactly how is the employee protected?
In the event the worker has documented the presumably unlawful action to any government regulatory, or law enforcement organization, he/she is protected from any retaliatory conduct. The company can’t dismiss the staff member for the whistle blowing or give the employee any other negative treatment on the job in retaliation for the whistle blowing.
However, this doesn’t mean that after whistle blowing, the worker can’t be terminated for any reason. The company may continue to treat the worker similar to any other worker. In other words, the employee could still be fired from the company, the employee just can be fired because of his or her whistle blowing.
Contact Our California Employment Lawyers
If you have been fired or otherwise retaliated against because of reporting illegal actions in the workplace, contact us today at (858) 376-7390 for a free case evaluation with a California Employment Lawyer.