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Who does California’s whistleblower laws cover and when?

There are both federal and state laws on the books that protect whistleblowers when they come forward and report impropriety. California Labor Code Sections 1102.5 and 1106 are the two primary statutes that detail who’s protected by state whistleblower laws and when that’s the case.

State regulators describe anyone who reports someone’s noncompliance with or violation of federal, state or local rules, statutes or regulations as a whistleblower. These individuals may report unsafe working practices or conditions or workplace health and safety concerns and still be considered as a whistleblower as well.

California Labor Code Section 1102.5 spells out how both private and public sector employees belong to a protected class. Section 1106 of that same set of laws also details how workers who are covered by such protections may be employed by the University of California, a school district, a county, city or state agency, a public corporation or political entity and still be afforded protections under this piece of legislation.

State labor laws afford whistleblowers certain protections. Employers who retaliate against whistleblowers may be penalized for doing so.

California Labor Code Section 1102.5 prohibits employers from implementing or enforcing any policies that prevent workers from stepping forward and reporting impropriety in the workplace. That same law prohibits employers from taking retaliatory action against a worker who isn’t willing to engage in illicit activity at the request of their employer. California employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee that has filed a whistleblowing claim at their previous job or their current one.

State law allows for whistleblowers to request a reimbursement of lost wages if they missed work as a result of their involvement in filing such a claim. An individual may also request a reinstatement of their job and associated benefits if they lost their job after reporting any impropriety.

Filing a whistleblower claim against your employer isn’t easy. This is especially the case if you plan to keep your job so that you can continue to pay for your everyday necessities. An attorney can help you compile the necessary evidence of impropriety necessary to take on your Los Angeles County employer.

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