If you have witnessed illegal or unethical activities in your workplace, you may be considering reporting what you know or “blowing the whistle.” While Whistleblowing is the right thing to do, it can also present challenges. No one wants to cause trouble at work because there is always a fear of consequences. Nevertheless, whistleblowers wish to do the right thing in order to protect those who may be harmed by the illegal activity.
What should you do if you are a whistleblower and are experiencing discrimination, harassment, or retaliation? You should contact an employment law attorney right away. State and federal laws protect whistleblowers, and you should learn more about your legal rights.
What is Whistleblower Discrimination?
If you are a whistleblower, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of your illegal reporting activity. Whistleblower discrimination can happen in many ways, such as your employer:
- Firing you
- Demoting you
- Harassing you
- Passing you over for a promotion
- Retaliating against you in any way
Any of these activities are prohibited by specific federal laws and several state laws.
How Are Whistleblowers Protected?
California law protects whistleblowers. If you are a whistleblower experiencing discrimination or harassment, you should know the following:
- The California Whistleblower Protection Act (CWPA) prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report illegal activity. The CWPA prohibits employers from discriminating against a whistleblower.
Inappropriate handling of personnel-related processes is prohibited, including:
- The California False Claims Act: Prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers who report efforts to defraud the state.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Act: Federal laws stating that if you are punished because you filed a report, you may be entitled to the reinstatement of your job, back pay, and other damages.
Get Help with Whistleblower Discrimination
If you experience discrimination or are wrongfully terminated because you are a whistleblower, you should immediately take steps to protect your rights. Call Proxy Law Firm to learn more about your rights and how these laws may apply to you.