If you are considering blowing the whistle on your employer’s wrongful actions that are defrauding the government, employment retaliation is a real fear. In fact, it is one of the biggest reasons employees do not come forward and blow the whistle. However, this should never keep you from trying to make things right. You should know you have legal rights that protect you from employer retaliation.
When an employer retaliates against you for whistleblowing, your best option is to file a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit with the California Superior Court. Prior to doing so, however, you may have to file a complaint with a government agency.
Protection Under Labor Code 1102.5 LC
Under Labor Code 1102.5 LC, employers may not retaliate against employees who report a violation of the law to a supervisor, or provide information to a government body currently conducting an investigation. If you suspect an employer has violated your rights granted under this section of law, you must first report the violation to the California Labor and Workplace Development Agency.
Once the Agency receives your complaint, they may decide to conduct their own investigation into your complaint. If hey choose not to go ahead with this investigation, they must notify you in writing within 65 days. At that point, you can pursue your own lawsuit against the employer.
Protection Under Labor Code 98.6 and 6310
Under Labor Code 98.6 and 6310, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for reporting labor or occupational health and safety violations. Before filing a lawsuit for employer retaliation under this statute, you can file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, if you wish. However, this is not a required step and if you choose, you can continue on with your own lawsuit.
Protection Under the California False Claims Act
The California False Claims Act provides broad protections against retaliation for employees. This Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file a qui tam lawsuit, or who assist with a qui tam lawsuit or investigation in any way. If an employer is attempting to break the law and the employee tries to stop it, that employee is still protected from employer retaliation under the Act.
Violations of the California False Claims Act do not have to be reported to any other government agency first, if they do not fall under a certain section of the Labor Code. Employees who file a qui tam lawsuit after observing wrongdoing can immediately file a lawsuit against their employer for any retaliation they experience.
Speak to a California Healthcare Fraud Defense Lawyer
If you have reported your employer for violating the law, or have assisted with another case and are now facing retaliation, you must speak to the experienced Santa Rosa healthcare fraud defense lawyers at Willoughby Brod, LLP. We can assist you with filing your whistleblower lawsuit, and pursue another lawsuit against your employer if they retaliate against you. You are helping make things right for our country, and we will help make things right for you. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 for your free case evaluation.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Qui Tam Lawsuits?
Qui Tam Actions Under the California False Claims Act
(image courtesy of Austin Distel)