A San Francisco whistleblower retaliation attorney can assist employees in a wrongful termination or retaliation lawsuit. This claim is made against an employer who fires an employee for reporting unlawful or fraudulent workplace activities. If you are in this situation, speak with our firm immediately.
Whistleblowers may report the violation of a rule or regulation that involves the following:
Whistleblower claims may extend to an employer’s gross mismanagement or gross waste of funds and abuse of authority.
A major danger to public health or safety is also an example of a whistleblower complaint.
A more in-depth look at whistleblower protections can be found in California state law.
For example, The California False Claims Act (FCA) protects an employee who reports billing fraud and other similar activities toward the state or other governmental agencies. This law is also referred to as the state’s Qui Tam statute – a law that allows for the payment of treble damages.
Basically, the FCA prevents private contractors from submitting false invoices or taking part in activities to receive overpayment for goods and services. Pursuant to section 12652(c)(6), the statute allows a governmental entity whose funds are affected to choose to move forward with a case or elect not to intervene in the matter.
If the state intervenes, the Attorney General (AG) will oversee the action. In cases where the state does not participate, the plaintiff has the right to take further measures. The state may dismiss or settle a claim, even if a qui tam plaintiff objects.
In California, the Whistleblower Protection Act gives state employees the right to report waste, fraud, or health or safety threats while enjoying freedom from retaliation. The state legislature created the law so public servants could report allegations of waste, fraud, abuse of authority, or threats to public health candidly.
State personnel are investigated, in these cases, pursuant to 19683 of the state code.
Of the whistleblower legislation in force, labor code section 1102.5 is the most commonly applied in court cases. Under this section of the labor code, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who report workplace activities, conduct, or behavior that an employee believes violates local, state, or federal law.
To report a violation, a plaintiff employee must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:
If an employee brings a retaliation claim under this section of the labor code, they may use circumstantial evidence (showing that the timing of the complaint and adverse action happened in close proximity) or by using direct evidence. For example, an email that a supervisor sends to an employee may be used if it complains about the employee’s involvement in reporting an unlawful event.
Section 1278 of the Health and Safety Code protects an employee in a healthcare facility from whistleblower retaliation or from reporting incidents that affect patient safety. Specifically, Health and Safety Code 1278.5(b)(1)(A) states that a healthcare facility cannot discriminate or retaliate against a person who has submitted a complaint or report to a healthcare site.
California laws, or the prohibitions against whistleblower retaliation, per Labor Code Section 1102.5, may be applied to a large number of circumstances. Because the law is broad, it extends to complaints that are covered under other laws, such as the Health and Safety Code, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and workers’ compensation.
For example, an employee may report unlawful activities to law enforcement or a government agency if an employer is operating commercially in violation of regulations, codes, or statutes.
The employee, in this case, does not have to report the violation to an outside government agency. Nor is the employee required to prove the incident broke the law. As long as they act in good faith, they can make a complaint.
Employees are also in their right to refuse to take part in an activity that violates state or federal laws. In addition, they may report a suspected state or federal violation to someone in authority or a person who has the authorization to review and correct the violation.
If an employee gets demoted or terminated from acting as a whistleblower, they can request economic and non-economic damages, depending on the facts of the lawsuit. If the employee gets another job after being fired, the earnings they make will mitigate or reduce the damages for the claim.
Contact a San Francisco whistleblower retaliation attorney at Minnis & Smallets. Use the knowledge of a professional lawyer to receive damages for retaliatory activities.
If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.
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