Encino Whistleblower Protection Attorneys
Both federal and state laws provide protections for employees who make the decision to report unlawful activity by their employers. Public policy in California supports employees who notify government agencies or report misconduct internally, and employers can face harsh penalties for violating the rights of so-called whistleblowers.
If one of your employees reported questionable conduct within your organization or to the authorities, it is important that your company responds in the appropriate manner. You want to ensure that you do not face additional legal liability or penalties due to accusations of violating whistleblower laws. Contact an Encino whistleblower protection lawyer at Kaufman McAndrew LLP to discuss the best course of action in your whistleblower case.
Who is a Whistleblower?
Sometimes, employees who learn of or suspect misconduct at their company might choose to report it to government authorities or through internal company channels. Reports might include:
- Violations of state or federal criminal laws
- Unlawful discrimination or harassment
- Wage and hour violations
- Securities violations or other forms of fraud
- Noncompliance with other local, state, or federal rules and regulations
- Health and safety risks or violations
If the employee has cause to reasonably believe the accusations are true, the law protects them from adverse action by their employers. Protections can also apply if an employer requests that the employee engages in unlawful activities and the employee refuses. It is important for human resources departments and employer leaders to know when someone is considered to be a whistleblower.
Whistleblower Protection Laws in California
The federal government has a Whistleblower Protection Program that enforces numerous federal statutes that provide protections for whistleblowers. In addition, the California Labor Code protects whistleblowers under several statutes.
Specifically, employers may not:
- Have policies or rules preventing whistleblowing
- Retaliate against whistleblowing employees with any type of adverse employment action
When an employer does take unlawful action against whistleblowers, the employee can bring a legal claim to hold the employer liable for certain losses. These can include back pay and benefits, reinstatement to their former position, and more. Companies might also face civil penalties for both whistleblower violations and the underlying conduct that was reported by the whistleblower.
What Should Employers Do?
If your company has employees, there is always the chance that one of them will report misconduct internally or to the authorities. If there is an internal report, employers should conduct the necessary investigations into the claims. In the event of external reports, employers should cooperate with the authorities. In either situation, it is essential for employers to avoid any acts that might seem retaliatory.
If your company has been accused of violating whistleblower protections, it is important to have the right legal assistance. Our attorneys know how to defend against these claims and prevent liability or penalties whenever possible.
Discuss Your Situation with an Encino Whistleblower Protection Lawyer Today
At Kaufman McAndrew LLP, we are dedicated to helping employers face complex employment law challenges. Call 818-788-5767 or contact us online to learn how our Encino whistleblower protection attorneys can help.