Does California Have A Whistleblower Law?

Workplace Retaliation February 21st, 2024
whistleblower law people carrying large megaphone with person riding on top of it. whistleblower law people carrying large megaphone with person riding on top of it.

Are you aware of illegal activities at your place of work, but are worried about losing your job, ruining your reputation, or possibly even going to jail? You might be glad to know that California has whistleblower laws to help protect people who want to shine a spotlight on wrongdoings or injustice.

About California’s Whistleblower Law

California passed its first whistleblower law in 2007. Known as the Whistleblower Protection Act, this law protects people who disclose information about illegal activities, fraud, waste, or abuse within private sector organizations or government agencies. It helps whistleblowers be candid and open without fear of retribution. Unlike laws in many other states, California’s whistleblower law protects both public and private employees and treats retribution for whistleblowing as a crime.

California strengthened the Whistleblower Protection Act in 2014 by passing additional laws. The law initially protected against retaliation against a worker who reports a violation to a government official or police. One of the new legal updates expanded the protection to those who report suspected violations internally, such as to a supervisor, or externally to any public body conducting an investigation or hearing. Another law takes it one step further by protecting whistleblowers who disclose suspected violations that the employer or government agency already knew about.

Whistleblower Rights in California

Several statutes define whistleblower laws in California. 

Here are a few of the key provisions:

  • California False Claims Act – protects employees who expose fraudulent activities, such as billing fraud, towards the state or governmental bodies; it focuses on preventing contractors from submitting false invoices for payment
  • California Whistleblower Protection Act – protects state employees who report waste, violations of law, fraud, abuse of authority, or threats to public health
  • Retaliation Protection by California State Auditor – prevents retaliation against whistleblowers
  • Protects whistleblowers even in cases in which the employer already knew about the violations
  • Protects private and public employees who refuse to participate in activities that break the law
  • Provides university and college employee whistleblowers with official channels in which to report retaliation

All of California’s whistleblower laws are in accordance with the federal Whistleblower Protection Act that protects the disclosure of information, even when the recipient of the information is already aware of it.

Those who are protected by the whistleblower laws may also file a complaint or even claim for any damages they sustained from retaliation. They may be eligible to recoup lost wages, reinstatement to their job, or even damages if the retaliation hurt their reputation.

Wondering About Whistleblower Laws in California? Contact Your Employment Attorneys at D.Law

Whistleblowers are the first line of defense against corruption, fraud, and wrongdoing. If you are aware of a violation, but are worried about retaliation, you should know that whistleblower laws in California can protect you. For more information, consult with or call D.Law. Our employment law firm helps people just like you blow the whistle on fraud and corruption in the Bay Area, San Diego, Fresno, Los Angeles, and other California cities.

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