Los Gatos Whistleblowing & Retaliation Lawyer
California law protects employees from retaliation at the hands of their employers in whistleblowing matters. Although most employees work in California on an “at-will” basis, there are situations where an employer will be in violation of the law for firing an employee. “At-will” employees can typically be fired at any point in time without the employer being required to explain their reason to terminate the individual’s employment. Such is not the case when it comes to wrongful termination claims. Of course, there are ways in which an employer can retaliate against an employee that do not include terminating that individual. When it comes to whistleblowing claims, employees enjoy a variety of legal protections under both California and federal law.
Even employees who are familiar with whistleblower legal protections might feel nervous about challenging illegal practices in their place of employment. Sadly, sometimes employers do retaliate against employees for making whistleblower claims. As an employee, it is vital that you understand your legal rights in order to ensure that your employer does not violate those rights. Hiring an attorney can help ensure that you are protected and that you have a strong advocate who will work on your side in any employment-related disputes. The Costanza Law Firm works to represent California’s employees. Call us at 408-993-8493 to speak to one of our dedicated Los Gatos whistleblowing & retaliation lawyers today.
Whistleblower Protections in California
California has a whistleblower act that protects employees in the state. There is also a federal law prohibiting retaliation against whistleblowers. The California law is stronger; it provides additional protection and covers more employees than are included in the federal statute. Independent contractors and consultants benefit from protections in California based on the state’s statutes.
Behaviors Protected by Whistleblower Laws in Los Gatos, California
Whistleblower protections help to ensure that employees can report violations carried out by their employers. Some of the actions employees may take which will be considered whistleblower matters include filing harassment claims, filing discrimination claims, testifying in court, filing claims against the company for illegal actions, and complaining at their place of work about illegal conduct carried out by coworkers or supervisors. If an employee files a whistleblower complaint and a prospective employer refuses to hire that individual because of the whistleblower complaint, that employer is also in violation of California’s laws. Employers must provide their employees access to detailed information regarding protections available under the whistleblower laws. If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you for reporting a violation, contact a Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney.
Retaliation in Los Gatos, California
As previously mentioned, an employer who fires an employee for reporting wrongful conduct in the workplace will violate whistleblower laws. However, other forms of retaliation are not as obvious as firing an individual. Employers may limit access to resources that could help the employee advance in their position with the company. Preventing an individual from attending training or education that will help them advance their career could be a form of retaliation. Also, refusing to promote an individual, demoting an individual, or otherwise negatively impacting that person’s status at their job will be considered a violation of whistleblower laws. If you believe you are being retaliated against in your place of work, contact a Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney today.
When Whistleblowers Make a Mistake
Sometimes, an employee may believe that their employer is in violation of a law or carrying out improper workplace practices, but the employee may, in fact, be incorrect. It is important to understand that whistleblower protections will apply even in cases where the employee raises the alarm about something that turns out to be wrong. All that is needed for protections to become effective is that the employee has a reasonable belief that the employer engaged in some form of wrongful conduct or legal violation. Of course, in many cases, employees will not have the ability to carry out their own investigation but may only witness something that suggests that their employer is engaged in wrongful conduct. Not providing such protections to employees who raised reasonable concerns would have a chilling effect on the reporting of legitimate violations. To learn more about the protections available to you, contact a Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney.
Reporting Violations in Los Gatos, California
If you have witnessed illegal conduct in your place of work, you may report to your employer, or you may report to an agency that can carry out an investigation. Sometimes reporting to an agency is the better move as they will be able to initiate an investigation. If your employer retaliates against you, you may file a whistleblower lawsuit. To learn more about whistleblower lawsuits and the protections available to whistleblowers in California, contact a Los Gatos employment law attorney at the Costanzo Law Firm.
Statutes of Limitations
There are limits on when you can file a whistleblower claim. In the case of a whistleblower lawsuit, you have three years to file your claim. There are shorter statutes of limitations for reporting certain other violations in the workplace. Never hesitate to take action if you suspect illegal conduct or whistleblower violations.
Successful Whistleblower Claims in Los Gatos
Employees who succeed in their whistleblower claims will be able to collect damages from their employers. You may be entitled to compensation for back pay, lost benefits, mental distress, and in some situations, punitive damages. Speak to an attorney to learn more about the damages available in whistleblower claims.
Contact the Costanzo Law Firm Today for Help With Los Gatos Whistleblowing Claims
At the Costanzo Law Firm, our attorneys are ready to stand up for your rights and protect you against retaliation at the hands of your employer. Call us today at 408-993-8493 to speak to a dedicated Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney.