Santa Clara Whistleblowing & Retaliation Lawyer
If you work in Santa Clara, California, and you served as a whistleblower at your place of work, you are entitled to certain legal protections against retaliation. Whistleblowers are individuals who report wrongful actions on the part of their employers. If you work in California and your employer is engaged in some form of illegal conduct, and you report such violations, the law prevents your employer from retaliating against you.
In California, most employees work on an “at-will” basis. “At will” employees typically may be terminated for any reason. Employers who hire “at-will” employees can terminate those workers without providing any explanation for their decision to end the employment relationship. However, if you have reason to believe that your employer terminated you because you served as a whistleblower, you likely have a wrongful termination claim against your employer. Even without firing you from your job, there are ways in which an employer may retaliate against a worker. Whistleblower protections apply in these cases as well. If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you for reporting a workplace violation, contact a Santa Clara whistleblowing & retaliation lawyer today. At the Costanzo Law Firm, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting California’s workers’ rights. Call us today at 408-993-8493 for a consultation with one of our dedicated employment law attorneys.
What Protections are Available to Whistleblowers in Santa Clara
Federal and state laws both prevent employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. California’s laws provide additional protections beyond those included in federal statutes. For example, in California, legislators enacted laws that include whistleblower protections for independent contractors and consultants. Such protections are not available under the federal statutes. To learn more about what is protected, contact a Santa Clara, California, employment law attorney.
Who Is a Whistleblower in Santa Clara, California
Whistleblowers in Santa Clara are individuals who report a violation or suspected violation of state or federal law or other workplace regulations at their place of employment. Employees who report instances of harassment, discrimination, or other illegal actions will be included in whistleblower protections. Many laws that companies are required to comply with are related to the safety of the workers or environmental protections against polluting, along with other laws that have serious health-related implications. If employers were able to retaliate against employees for notifying agencies when violations take place, many businesses would be able to continue to carry out unlawful practices that put their employees and the public at risk.
Employees are the most likely individuals to come across workplace violations. It is illegal for your employer to use threats of retaliation to intimidate you into not reporting wrongful actions at your place of work. Not only is your employer prohibited from taking actions against you, but future potential employers are also prohibited from refusing to offer you a job based on your previous whistleblower status. To learn more about your rights as an employee in Santa Clara, contact an experienced employment law attorney at the Costanzo Law Firm.
Retaliatory Actions in Santa Clara, California, Workplaces
Terminating a person’s employment because of a whistleblower action is illegal, but there are many other more subtle ways in which an employer may retaliate against an employee. Some forms of retaliation may include demoting an individual, refusing to promote an individual, or placing barriers in the way that prevent an employee from further developing and moving forward with their career. Employers are also required to ensure that employees have access to whistleblower-related laws and protections. For more information regarding whistleblower protections, contact a Santa Clara, California, employment law attorney.
Whistleblowers are typically employees and not investigators. It is not the responsibility of a whistleblower to ensure that they are 100 percent certain that a violation occurred before they report their suspicions. Whistleblower protections will apply even if investigations indicate that the employee who reported the suspected violation is incorrect. As long as the employee was reasonable in believing that the employer was engaged in unlawful or otherwise wrongful conduct, the employer will be prohibited from retaliating against that person. This law is designed to prevent the chilling effect retaliation and threats of retaliation can have on employees. Reporting a violation will often result in an investigation. The investigation need not be carried out by the employee who suspects a violation. To learn more about the protections available to you, contact one of our Santa Clara, California, employment law attorneys.
Damages Available to Whistleblowers in Santa Clara, California
If you suffer retaliation at the hands of an employer because you served as a whistleblower, you might be entitled to compensation. In some cases, you may be entitled to lost wages, the value of benefits which you lost, the difference between the pay received at the job you were terminated from and the lower wages you were making at a new job, and in some situations, pain and suffering damages or even punitive damages. Pain and suffering damages will be more likely in cases where the employer took actions that caused severe emotional distress to the employee. Punitive damages are also available in circumstances where the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious. These damages, which are often for large sums, are used to penalize individuals and companies for particularly wrongful actions. Contact a Santa Clara, California, employment law attorney to learn more about the damages available in whistleblower legal action.
Santa Clara Whistleblowers, Call the Costanzo Law Firm Today
The attorneys at the Costanzo Law Firm understand how important it is for employees in California to be protected from retaliatory actions at the hands of their employers. Call us at 408-993-8493 for a consultation with an experienced Santa Clara, California, employment law attorney.