If you work as an employee in the Golden State, you’ll be pleased to know that the state legislature enacted the California Whistleblower Protection Act more than a decade ago to better ensure that you and other employees can report violations of law, threats to public health, fraud and abuse of authority without fear of retribution.
The Act empowers employees to be honest and candid without reservation for fear of retaliation from their employers. Any violation of this Act by an employer will be investigated, and the employer in question can be held accountable if it is determined that they engaged in unlawful retaliation.
What is the California Whistleblower Protection Act?
The California Whistleblower Protection Act, enacted in 2007, is designed to provide legal protection to employees who report illegal activities or violations of public policies by their employers. It encourages a culture of transparency and accountability within workplaces. Under the Act, employees are shielded from retaliation for disclosing information about illegal activities, fraud or violations of state or federal laws. This protection extends to current employees, former employees and applicants.
The Act includes stringent anti-retaliation measures, making it illegal for employers to terminate, demote or otherwise discriminate against employees who have reported wrongdoing. Whistleblowers are entitled to reinstatement, back pay and other remedies if retaliation occurs.
Whistleblower reporting process
Employees covered by the Act have access various channels through which they can report misconduct. These may include internal reporting mechanisms within an organization and external avenues such as regulatory bodies or law enforcement agencies. One of the key features of the Act is the provision for maintaining confidentiality. Whistleblowers are often concerned about potential reprisals, and this Act helps ensure that their identity is kept confidential during any investigations.
The California Whistleblower Protection Act is a vital legislative tool that promotes ethical conduct within organizations. Employees should be aware of its provisions to help ensure that they’re empowered to report misconduct without fear of retaliation. If you believe you have experienced retaliation as a whistleblower, you can contact Licata & Yeremenko to help you understand your options.