What are the common whistleblower laws in California?
The common whistleblower laws in California are the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and The False Claims Act. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is protection for federal employees who work for the government and exposes their employers of illegal and unethical activities (possible violations of the law, rules, regulations, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety). In addition, the Federal Law protects individuals who report that the government has been defrauded. The False Claims Act is a protection under the law placed for individuals who are not associated with the government but are allowed to file lawsuits on behalf of the government. These employees are able to receive compensation for damages.
Another common whistleblower law in California is the Labor Code section 1102.5. The purpose of Labor Code section 1102.5 is to protect employees from being fired (or other adverse employment actions) from their employer because of their decision to report their employer’s illegal activities that are violations of state or federal laws to the appropriate authorities (Whistleblower Attorney Los Angeles | Top Rated Employment Lawyers (miraclemilelaw.com)). As stated by the Labor Code section 1102.5, the employee “has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation of noncompliance… [provide] information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties” (Whistleblower Attorney Los Angeles | Top Rated Employment Lawyers (miraclemilelaw.com)). Further, the Labor Code section 1102.5 allows for employees to receive compensation from their employers for any damages that may have been caused by the employer.
Other whistleblower laws in California include the California Labor Code 98.6 LC and the Labor Code 6310 LC. The California Labor Code 98.6 LC protects employees from being retaliated against by his or her employer because the employee reported violations of wage and hour laws. For example, an employee is protected by the California Labor Code 98.6 LC if the employee decides to report how his or her employer is paying the employees less than minimum wage. Another example is how the California Labor Code 98.6 protects employees from being retaliated against by their employer for reporting their employer’s failure to pay required overtime or failure to provide his or her employee’s rest or meal breaks. The Labor Code 6310 LC protects employees from their employers by protecting employees from employer’s retaliation who report to proper authorities about any violations of health and safety rules to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
Clearly, there are several different whistleblower laws in California that are put into place in order to protect employees from the unlawful action of their employers. These laws allow employees to feel safe and protected.