In California, employees who report unsafe or unlawful conduct, or refuse to participate in unlawful conduct, are protected from retaliation by their employer.
Retaliation can take many forms, but some examples include demotion, failure to promote, or termination.
Retaliation claims require a showing that: (1) the employee engaged in a protected activity; (2) the employer took an adverse employment action against the employee; and (3) that there is a causal connection between the two.
Under Labor Code § 1102.5, when an employer retaliates against a whistleblower, the employer may be required to pay any lost wages, reinstate the employee and their work benefits, and take other steps necessary to comply with the law.
Under Labor Code §1102.5, employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for reporting information, conduct, behavior, or other activities that the employee reasonably believes may violate a local, state, or federal law, rule, or regulation.
Employers are also prohibited from punishing an employee who refuses to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a local, state, or federal rule or law.
An employee’s disclosure about suspected violations of the law is protected whistleblowing activity even if the disclosure is about information the employer or government agency already knew about.
Labor Code § 6310 makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who complains or report – either orally or in writing – unsafe working conditions to their employer or a government agency. Retaliation under this section includes discharge, threat of discharge, discrimination, and has been interpreted to include non-renewal of an employment contract.
Additionally, § 6311 prohibits employers from terminating an employee who refuses to work in conditions that violate safety regulations.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating or discriminating against employees who report or complaint about wage and hour violations.
Health and Safety Code §1278.5provides that health care facilities are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against anyone who has “presented a grievance, complaint or report to the facility” with respect to patient safety or who has initiated or participated in any investigations related to the quality of care at the facility.
Employees have three (3) years to file a lawsuit in Superior Courtfor whistleblower retaliation claims. In the case of whistleblower protection for reporting labor law violations (Lab. Code § 98.6) or reporting unsafe working conditions (Lab. Code § 6310), employees have the option to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner within six (6) months.
Ricardo Lopez Law specializes in whistleblower retaliation cases. If you feel you have been retaliated against for complaining about unlawful activity, including unsafe working conditions and wage and hour violations, Ricardo Lopez Law can help you obtain justice.
Ricardo Lopez Law has already helped clients throughout Los Angeles County and the rest of California secure millions in settlement.