Los Angeles Whistleblower Lawyer
Many industries in the American economy are heavily regulated for a number of reasons. Some, such as manufacturing and oil refining, can potentially cause irreparable harm to the environment. Others, such as pharmaceuticals and food processing, may potentially make consumers sick. Still others have ethical requirements, such as disclosing information that is of vital public interest. Several government agencies oversee employers of these industries, and these agencies set forth the applicable requirements – if these requirements are not met, then securing a Los Angeles whistleblower attorney who has extensive experience representing victims of whistleblowing retaliation.
When a company violates federal or state law, some choose to try and hide their misdeeds. When employees file reports of such activities to government oversight agencies, they are protected from any retaliation from their employers, even if their report causes harm to the business’ profitability or reputation. This is covered under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, and other laws at the state level. It is important for employees of all regulated industries to know their rights when it comes to reporting an employer for illegal or unethical behaviors, which is also known as “whistleblowing.”
Mathew & George is experienced in all manners of California employment law, and we have a team of Los Angeles whistleblower attorneys whose sole responsibility is to ensure our clients are protected. We believe that employers who take illegal retaliatory actions against whistleblowers should be held accountable. Reach out to our team if you have questions about the whistleblower laws in California or if you think you have suffered retaliation for a protected action. Your first consultation with our team of whistleblower lawyers is free. We will assess the details of your case and let you know if a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit is advisable.
Whistleblower Protections in California
Employees in the United States workforce are protected from any adverse actions an employer may take in response to its performing protected actions. A protected action is any action made in good faith for health, safety, or ethical reasons. According to our team of Los Angeles whistleblower retaliation attorneys, examples of situations where an employee would be considered legally protected from reprisals include:
- An employee of a drug company notices that a manager has doctored important test results to push a new product through approvals. The employee notifies the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the body responsible for overseeing pharmaceutical development, about the potentially dangerous drug.
- A construction company manager has been notified by several employees about concerns over unmarked slippery surfaces, but the enterprise takes no action to correct the hazard. A worker suffers a slip and fall injury on an unmarked wet floor and asks the employer for a workers’ compensation claim form and files a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about the unsafe work environment.
- An employee of a financial firm uncovers evidence that his or her manager has been embezzling company funds and reports the activity to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
These examples would all be considered protected actions – but only as long as the reporting is done in good faith or there is an honest intention to correct misdeeds or prevent a hazard to public safety. An employee is not protected if he or she only files a report to spite an employer, attempt to settle a personal vendetta, or receive a reward.
Qui Tam Cases in Los Angeles
At Mathew & George, we have years of experience representing whistleblowers – including those involved in Qui Tam cases. When someone exposes misconduct by a company or other business entity against the federal government, he/she may bring a Qui Tam lawsuit to collect a portion of the amount recovered by the federal government. This portion of the recovery acts as a reward to the whistleblower for bringing the action, and incentivizes people to come forward against wrongdoing. Mathew & George can represent whistleblowers when claiming their portion of the recovery.
“Retaliation” defines any negative actions an employer may take in response to an employee’s reports made in good faith. Whistleblower retaliation covers a broad spectrum, but common examples include:
- Terminating an employee without any just cause other than the worker’s whistleblowing
- Demoting an employee or reducing his or her salary or hourly wage
- Transferring the employee or drastically changing his or her job duties
- Harassment or creating a hostile work environment for the employee
- Blacklisting the employee or notifying other companies in the industry that the worker would not be a wise hiring choice
- Excessive or unreasonable disciplinary action
- Otherwise discriminating against the employee because of his/her whistleblowing
Whistleblower retaliation is a serious offense. If you have encountered anything like this after whistleblowing in good faith, you need to speak with a whistleblower attorney as soon as possible.