When an employee discloses information about alleged wrongdoing in the workplace (or dangers to workers or others outside the company) that is not being appropriately handled, it's called "whistleblowing." Most of the time, whistleblowing scenarios relate to behavior or activities inside a company, but sometimes it can apply to outside vendors, customers, suppliers, etc.
Why Do Whistleblowers Need Specific Protections?
When an employee goes to their employer's human resources department and reports a problem, danger, or wrongdoing, they put their job, reputation, and in some cases, physical well-being on the line. They're putting themselves at risk to report criminal activity, violations of the law, fraud, environmental or public safety threats, etc. to stop the danger. Laws are in place to protect their rights and keep them safe from harm and retaliation to reduce the risk.
Reduce the Risk: What Does a Whistleblower Need to Know?
1. Rights of a Whistleblower: Get in touch with an experienced California employment law attorney to discuss the facts as soon as possible. They will have all the facts about the law to safely guide you through the process.
2. Consider Confidentiality: Just because you are doing what is right doesn't mean everyone will agree or that you will end up on the winning side. Discuss options for confidentiality with your attorney. Taking action as an anonymous whistleblower may offer the best protection possible.
3. Protection and Reward: Discuss current laws with your attorney to determine the most effective on-the-job protections available. The law is designed to protect whistleblowers against retaliation on the job and, in some cases, may even result in a monetary reward if the info provided by the whistleblower offers successful results.
4. Meet Deadlines: Whistleblower laws are governed by statutes of limitations. Delays and missed deadlines could negatively affect your case and your ability to protect yourself in the workplace.
5. Don't Break the Law: Breaking the law, being convicted of a crime, or illegally disclosing confidential information could cause you to lose your case. Discuss how to legally "blow the whistle" with an experienced attorney to avoid facing legal repercussions for trying to do the right thing.
If you need to discuss California whistleblower laws or have questions about how to report illegal activities in the workplace, get in touch with Moss Bollinger, Sherman Oaks, California employment law attorney. He's dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of his clients. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation or contact us online.