Riverside Whistleblower Lawyer
Discovering an employer’s illegal, fraudulent or abusive behavior can be unnerving. Many would-be whistleblowers fear that coming forward could endanger their reputation, career, livelihood or personal safety. Fortunately, the law protects whistleblowers. In fact, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who blows the whistle on their misbehavior.
Are you considering reporting your employer’s illegal actions? Have you experienced retaliatory behavior after blowing the whistle on unlawful activities? A skilled Riverside whistleblower lawyer can educate you about the legal protections afforded to whistleblowers, help you explore your options and guide you in your fight to secure the appropriate compensation if you’ve been the victim of retaliation.
What Is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is an employee who discovers that unethical, inappropriate, fraudulent or illegal activity is going on in their workplace and reports it. Whistleblowers protect the public’s interests by bringing to light unlawful activities like the following:
- Engaging in criminal acts against employees or others.
- Suppressing health or safety concerns.
- Concealing health or safety violations.
- Overbilling or billing for products or services that were not delivered.
- Requesting or accepting kickbacks or bribes.
- Participating in embezzlement or money laundering.
- Committing insurance or mortgage fraud.
- Engaging in fraud against customers, suppliers or vendors.
- Encouraging or overlooking irregularities in company records, accounts or finances.
- Failing to pay the proper taxes.
How Do Employers Retaliate Against Whistleblowers?
Retaliation against whistleblowers takes many forms. Some, including exclusion from workplace activities, reduction of your hours, negative performance evaluations, the withdrawal of privileges, or a denial of a promotion or pay increase, are subtle. Others forms of retaliation are more visible, including verbal abuse, harassment, demotion, threats of termination, or termination. The persecution can even persist after termination in the form of a vengeful employer’s interference with your efforts to find a new job elsewhere.
Retaliation is illegal. If an employer retaliates against you for whistleblowing, then you may be entitled to compensation.
Examples of Whistleblowers
Many whistleblowers provide valuable information with little or no recognition, but some make headlines. There have been several notable whistleblowers:
- FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt, who is likely better known as “Deep Throat,” provided information connecting President Nixon to the Watergate break-in.
- Karen Silkwood, an employee of the Kerr-McGee Nuclear Power Plant, reported numerous significant health and safety violations to the Atomic Energy Commission.
- Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, leaked classified documents that exposed how the federal government’s massive electronic-surveillance program collected data on private citizens.
- Sherron Watkins, a vice president at Enron, sparked outrage when she documented her concerns regarding the company’s fraudulent accounting practices and demanded action be taken to address the situation.
- Linda Tripp, a Pentagon employee, help unmask the cover-up of the scandalous relationship between President Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
- Robert Ferro, a scientist employed by a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, accused the aerospace and defense company of knowingly selling faulty electronic equipment to the government for its military satellites.
Whistleblower Protection Under the Law
Numerous federal and state laws protect whistleblowers, but the specific protections provided vary among industries and from state to state. In California, both public and private employees can claim whistleblower protections. Also, retaliation is forbidden against not only whistleblowers who report suspected violations to the police or a government official but also those who report their reasonable concerns internally or to an external public body engaged in an investigation.
California laws also allow for instances of retaliation to be charged as crimes and for victims of retaliation to seek compensation for any damages that they suffer. In some situations, whistleblowers may be entitled to a portion of any monies recovered as a result of their exposure to illicit activity. How do the laws that protect whistleblowers apply to your situation? An experienced whistleblower attorney can review your case and advise you.
Do I Need to Hire a Whistleblower Lawyer?
Do you have a thorough understanding of your rights, responsibilities, and options as a whistleblower? A whistleblower attorney does. Whether you are considering stepping forward with your concerns or are struggling with retaliation because you brought suspect behavior to light, it’s a good idea to enlist the services of an employment lawyer who has experience with whistleblower cases. After evaluating your situation, they can advise you about your options, inform you about any relevant time constraints or procedural necessities, and help you explore the possibilities with regards to various types of compensation.
An award-winning California law firm, Rizio Lipinsky brings a powerful brew of experience, skill, resources, and passion to the table. As employment lawyers, we know that you don’t leave your rights at the door when you enter your workplace. That’s why we fight diligently to protect the rights of employees. If you are seeking the services of a Riverside whistleblower lawyer, who will serve as a strong advocate, contact us today.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.
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