Oakland, CA Attorney Represents Workers with Whistleblower and Public Policy Claims
Protecting your right to exercise your conscience
All too often, people who raise questions about things at work that do not seem legal are fired instead of thanked. I have been fighting hard for over 30 years for employees who were retaliated against for raising questions about seemingly unlawful conduct.
Employees who raise questions when something does not seem to follow the law are generally legally protected against retaliation. This is true even if the question is raised only with a supervisor or manager, even if the issue is raised as a question instead of a complaint, and even if the question raised has to do with how you or other employees are treated.
The legal basis for whistleblower protections
Whistleblower protection comes from federal and state law, as well as common law developed from various court decisions. Specific sources of protection include:
- California Labor Code §1102.5 — This state law protects workers who report or refuse to participate in unlawful conduct.
- Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co. — The decision in this 1980 California court case allows employees to bring a lawsuit if they were fired for a purpose that violates public policy, including reporting their employer’s unlawful conduct internally or outside the company.
- Public law — Employees of state and federal government often have whistleblower protections written into the rules and regulations that govern their agencies.
- Federal law — Many federal statutes provide specific protections for employees engaged in whistleblowing activities. These include as the False Claims Act, the Lloyd-La Follette Act of 1912, the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, the No FEAR Act of 2002, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
I have a thorough knowledge of the law, and work effectively to assert your rights.
How to know if you have a whistleblower violation case
Here are some situations where an employee may have a strong legal claim for retaliation for whistleblowing:
- You start getting written up or are fired within months of raising an issue about something you believe may be unlawful, such as violations of health and safety in the workplace.
- Your employer insists you do something you think is against the law, putting you or your job at risk.
- After you ask for something to which employees are entitled – such as overtime pay, breaks, a safe workplace, or all the pay you are owed – you are demoted, written up or fired.
People who speak up when they see something at work that does not seem right should be praised, not mistreated. Unfortunately, that is not always what happens. Whistleblowers are often subjected to harassment and wrongful termination, but the law is behind you, and I can help you fight for your rights.