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Whistleblower

Whistleblower protection laws keep people safe from retaliation, like getting fired or harassed, when they report wrongdoing or illegal activities at their workplace.

California Whistleblower Attorneys

At Matern Law Group, we are committed to protecting the rights of employees and consumers, including the right to report illegal or unethical activity without fear of retaliation or intimidation.

What is a Whistleblower?

A whistleblower is someone who notices and speaks out about illegal or unethical actions happening within their company or organization. In California, laws are in place to protect these individuals from being punished for reporting these wrongdoings.

California law offers several protections for whistleblowers, ensuring that employees and consumers who report wrongdoing are shielded from retaliation and have avenues to seek justice. Here’s a list of key protections:

  1. Protection from Retaliation: Employees who report illegal acts are protected from any form of retaliation by their employers, including firing, demotion, suspension, or any form of harassment.

  2. Anonymity: In certain cases, whistleblowers can report anonymously, helping to protect their identity and reduce the risk of retaliation.

  3. Legal Recourse: If retaliation occurs, whistleblowers have the right to sue their employer for damages, including lost wages and emotional distress.

  4. State Enforcement: The California Labor Commissioner’s Office can investigate complaints of retaliation and enforce penalties against employers who violate whistleblower protections.

  5. Civil Penalties: Employers found guilty of retaliating against whistleblowers can face significant fines, payable to the affected employee.

  6. Whistleblower Hotlines: Some state agencies offer hotlines for reporting violations, providing a safe and confidential way to report illegal activities.

  7. Broad Scope of Protection: California’s whistleblower laws cover reporting a wide range of violations, from workplace safety to financial fraud, ensuring comprehensive protection for whistleblowers.

  8. Safe Harbor for Mistakes: Even if the reported misconduct is not proven, employees are still protected from retaliation as long as their report was made in good faith.

  9. Consumer Protection: Consumers who expose fraudulent practices against them or others are also protected under certain California laws, providing them with remedies if they face retaliation or harm.

These protections work together to create a safer environment for whistleblowers, encouraging the reporting of misconduct while minimizing the risk to individuals who take a stand against illegal or unethical practices.

Filing a Whistleblower Lawsuit

Filing a whistleblower lawsuit starts when you notice and decide to report illegal or unethical actions taken by your employer or another company. The first step is usually to gather any evidence you can, like documents or emails that prove the wrongdoing. Then, it’s crucial to speak with a lawyer who specializes in whistleblower cases, as they can guide you through the specific legal process, which can vary depending on what you’re reporting.

Your lawyer will help you submit your claim confidentially, which might involve reporting to a government agency or directly filing a lawsuit in court, depending on the situation. In many cases, these initial steps are done secretly to allow the government or authorities to investigate your claims without alerting the company involved.

If the government decides your case is strong, they might join in on your lawsuit, which can significantly increase your chances of winning. If they don’t join, you might still have the option to proceed with your lawyer. Throughout this process, the law protects you from retaliation by your employer, like being unfairly fired or demoted, for coming forward.

With the right preparation and legal support, filing a whistleblower lawsuit involves reporting wrongdoing, working with authorities for an investigation, and possibly going to court to hold the wrongdoers accountable, all while being protected against retaliation.

Our Approach

Our Practices are Guided by Integrity. We’ll protect what you deserve.

We work tirelessly and fight tenaciously to hold rights abusers accountable.

If you’ve experienced a distressing incident related to an issue like this, call us for a free case evaluation.

Did You Know?

Whistleblowing
California whistleblower protection laws prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who come forward to report suspected violations of laws, regulations, and public policy.
Qui Tam
A "qui tam" lawsuit is a suit filed by a private citizen on behalf of a government entity, against someone who sought to obtain government money by fraud.
The FCA
Those who investigate and provide testimony and assistance in a False Claims Act case also are protected.

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

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