Banc of California has been facing many accusations, including a top executive having sex with employees and doing drugs in their offices during work hours. Heather Endresen, a former employee at the bank was recently terminated without cause. Apparently, she had expressed her concerns about the illegal behavior in a whistleblower hotline but the suit was dismissed as frivolous. Banc of California spokesperson Joe Hixon says the company investigates all claims and treats them very seriously.
Endresen had been working at Banc of California for three years. Besides drug use and sex at the property, she also alleged breaches of violation of financial property. Apparently, the bank had engaged in a “sham” attempt since 2016 trying to avoid paying bonuses to Endresen and other employees. The suit requests civil, general, and special damages as well as restitution. Mrs. Endresen had become a victim of retaliation after exposing the company’s illegal activities. She was terminated and lost the relationships she had work so hard to build.
Banc of California is also fighting a whistleblower suit filed by former vice president Carlos Salas who alleged that some employees were dismissed because of their concerns about the illegal behavior of some officers and managers.
Whistleblower Retaliation Is Illegal
Companies throughout California need to follow laws and regulations. Many companies carrying illegal activities think they will get away with it and they will never get caught but that’s not always the case. In most cases, employees inside the company expose these illegal activities. The law prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. Unfortunately, many other companies are still doing similar things yet their employees don’t complain because they are afraid of being caught and getting fired.
What Conduct Is Considered A Protected Activity?
In order to prove retaliation, you must first prove that you engaged in a protected activity. Some common examples of protected activities include:
1 Complaint about discrimination in the workplace.
2 Providing information when the employer is under investigation.
3 When an employee refuses to obey an order of illegal or discriminatory nature.
4 Opposing harassing behavior.
5 Asking for special accommodations for religious beliefs or disabilities.
What About If The Employer Doesn’t Know
It is possible that some employers may not know when an employee is engaged in a protected activity. But in most cases, employers already know. Some whistleblowers reveal their protected activities so if retaliation occurs, it will constitute protected activity.
Protection For Whistleblowers In California
Retaliation claims are some of the most commonly filed complaints in California. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee as long as his or her conduct is considered a protected activity. If you or someone you know has been terminated for exposing illegal activities at work, contact a California whistleblower attorney to protect you against retaliation. It is important that you consult with an attorney well-versed in employment law before making any decisions that may hurt your case.