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Los Angeles Whistleblower Lawyer

We Represent Los Angeles Whistleblowers Facing Workplace Retaliation

At YMS, we have extensive experience litigating whistleblower and workplace retaliation claims, and we may be able to help you too. If you have been retaliated against at work, contact our Los Angeles whistleblower lawyers. During your first 30-minute consultation, we can discuss your unique situation and help you understand your potential legal options.

What Is a Whistleblower?

A whistleblower is an employee who exposes unlawful conduct or illegal activity by his or her employer in the workplace. An employee may disclose information to certain parties, including:

  • Government or law enforcement agencies
  • Person(s) with authority over the employee
  • Another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance
  • Any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or an inquiry

An employee may “blow the whistle” on misconduct or illegal activities, including:

It takes a lot of courage to report an employer’s unlawful conduct. If you are considering becoming a whistleblower, we encourage you to reach out to a Los Angeles whistleblower attorney from our firm about your situation. We can answer any legal questions you may have and help you understand how you can protect your rights.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for whistleblowers to face workplace retaliation. However, whistleblowers are legally protected from unlawful retaliation. Our Los Angeles whistleblower attorneys discuss these protections in the next section.

Are There Whistleblower Protections in California?

Yes, there are whistleblower protections in California. An employer may not retaliate against, or negatively impact an employee’s position with the company based on his or her whistleblowing activity.

California Labor Code Section 1102.5 makes it illegal for California employers to obstruct and/or retaliate against an employee:

  • From disclosing information to certain parties,
  • For reporting, disclosing, or testifying information to certain parties
  • Who refuses to take part in unlawful conduct
  • Who is a family member of an individual who has engaged, or has been perceived to engage in protected activities

What is Whistleblower Retaliation

Whistleblowers act in the public interest by uncovering threats to public health and safety, financial fraud, fraud on the government, environmental pollution, and other wrongdoing. But whistleblowers often suffer retaliation from their employer when they are suddenly terminated from their job, suspended, demoted, or subjected to a hostile work environment.

Whistleblower retaliation can exact a serious toll on whistleblowers who come forward to expose fraud and other unlawful conduct. A whistleblower can suffer a loss of income, harm to their reputation, alienation, isolation from professional colleagues, emotional distress, and potential blacklisting.

Many workers don’t report illegal activity by their employers because they fear losing their job. But there are many state and federal laws, such as the federal False Claims Act and California Labor Code Section 1102.5, that protect workers by making it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against a worker who exposes unlawful employment or business practices.

When Is Retaliation Against A Whistleblower Unlawful?

Whether a particular act of retaliation against a whistleblower is unlawful depends upon the federal or state whistleblower law that protects the type of disclosure involved. Generally, retaliation is unlawful whenever the employer’s action would dissuade a reasonable employee from engaging in protected whistleblowing.

Some examples of unlawful retaliation against a whistleblower include:

  • Termination
  • Suspension
  • Demotion
  • Constructive discharge, i.e., forcing the employee to quit or retire
  • Reassigning a whistleblower to a position with significantly different responsibilities
  • Harassment; or
  • Subjecting a whistleblower to a hostile work environment

Depending upon the circumstances, the following acts may also be unlawful retaliation:

  • Removing the whistleblower’s supervisory responsibilities
  • Placing the whistleblower on administrative leave.
  • Subjecting the whistleblower to retaliatory investigation
  • Placing the whistleblower on a performance improvement plan; or
  • Suing the whistleblower

Under some whistleblower protection laws, merely outing a whistleblower or threatening to take an adverse employment action against them is unlawful, and some whistleblower laws prohibit anticipatory retaliation.

Compensation For Whistleblower Retaliation

Federal and state anti-retaliation laws provide various remedies to make a whistleblower who has suffered retaliation whole. These remedies include:

  • Back pay and lost wages. Some whistleblower protection laws, such as the Dodd-Frank Act and False Claims Act, award whistleblowers double their back pay
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Benefits lost as a result of the retaliation
  • Compensatory or special damages for emotional distress and reputational harm; and
  • Attorney’s fees and litigation costs

Furthermore, some whistleblower retaliation laws authorize an award of punitive damages to deter employers from retaliating against whistleblowers.

Consult with a Los Angeles Whistleblower Attorney at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani

At Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani, we represent whistleblowers in Los Angeles who have suffered unlawful retaliation. By assessing the protected whistleblowing, your employer’s knowledge of the whistleblowing, and the link between the whistleblowing and the retaliation, our attorneys can help you determine if you have a valid whistleblower retaliation claim.

If you believe that you were terminated from your job, demoted, or subjected to unfair and hostile treatment because you reported illegal activity by your employer, call or email us today. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your financial losses and much more.