San Diego Whistleblower Lawyer
What is a Whistleblower?
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a whistleblower is “[a]n employee who reports employer wrongdoing to a governmental or law enforcement agency.” Whistleblowers can be doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, lawyers, accountants, clerks, bankers, blue-collar workers, and everyone in between. More than anything, whistleblowers are people who are trying to do the right thing.
How Do I Blow the Whistle?
If an employee is considering reporting his or her employer’s wrongdoing to a governmental or law enforcement agency the employee should contact a lawyer right away. The employee should avoid using the employer's phones and computers systems to contact lawyers since it might waive the attorney/client privilege. The employee will need help gathering evidence, determining who to complain to, and positioning him or herself so that his or her rights are protected in the event of retaliation. The employee will also need help making sure he or she is not violating any laws by gathering evidence. Lots of evidence is protected by privacy laws which prevent employees from copy or removing evidence. Employees need to be aware of these laws, or else they can find themselves in trouble for trying to do the right thing.
How Are Whistleblowers Protected?
Whistleblowers are protected by many laws. It is the public policy of the State of California to encourage employees to notify an appropriate government or law enforcement agency when they have reason to believe their employer is violating a state or federal statute, or violating or not complying with a state or federal rule or regulation.
Among other laws, whistleblowers are protected by:
- the Whistleblower Protection Act (5 USC §1211)
- the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 USC §660)
- the False Claims Act (FCA) (31 USC §3730)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (42 USC §§2000e-2(a)(1) and 2000e-3(a))
- the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Govt. C §12940)
- the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 USC §9610)
- the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act (42 USC §7622)
- the Dodd-Frank Act (12 U.S.C. § 5511)
- the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (18 U.S.C. §1514A)
- the California Whistleblower Protection Act (Govt C §§8547-8547.12) and
- Health and Safety Code §1278.5.
Under Labor Code §1102.5(a)-(d), an employer may not:
- make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from being a whistleblower
- retaliate against a whistleblower
- retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in either a violation of a state or federal statute or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation or
- retaliate against an employee for exercising the rights of a whistleblower in any former employment.
Do I Have a Whistleblower Retaliation Case?
If an employer harasses or terminates an employee in retaliation like the above, then the employee likely has a claim for wrongful termination.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Whistleblower Case?
If you have information regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules, or regulations, or violations of fiduciary responsibility by a corporation or limited liability company to its shareholders, investors, or employees, you will need the courage to do the right thing and experienced legal counsel to help you through the process. Whistleblower lawyer John McCarthy, advises and counsels employees who are blowing the whistle and fights for employees who have been terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle. If you believe that you have been unfairly retaliated against because you are a whistleblower, or if you are considering blowing the whistle, then contact a San Diego whistleblower attorney 24/7 at (800) 690-1701 for a completely confidential consultation. We offer whistleblowers evening and weekend appointments and contingency fees.