California Whistleblower Protection Act
| Read Time: 3 minutes | Whistleblower

One way that California stands out among the 50 states is through its whistleblower protection act. The California Whistleblower Protection Act is a crucial piece of whistleblower retaliation legislation that provides unique protections to would-be whistleblowers. However, the CWPA differs from federal whistleblower acts in several ways. We’ll cover the main provisions of the CWPA and how it protects the rights of whistleblowers. 

If you think you may be a whistleblower under the CWPA or federal law, you should immediately seek legal advice. Contact one of our dedicated whistleblower lawyers today for your whistleblower complaint. 

What Is the CWPA?

The California Whistleblower Protection Act (CWPA) is a state law enacted several decades ago to safeguard employees who disclose information about illegal activities or unethical workplace conduct. In addition, the CWPA endows the California State Auditor with the authority to investigate reports of improper government actions. 

The CWPA provides retaliation protection to all state employees who file a complaint against their employer. Specifically, it prohibits any state official or employee from retaliating against any employee who reports improper activity. Retaliation includes intimidation, denial of promotion or appointment, threats of adverse action, poor performance evaluations, involuntary transfer, or disciplinary action. The CWPA’s protections extend not only to current employees but also to job applicants. 

Who Qualifies As a Whistleblower Under the CWPA?

Most of us have a general idea of what a “whistleblower” is. But under the CWPA, you must meet two specific requirements to be a whistleblower. First, you need to have reasonable cause to believe that there is:

  • A violation of a state or federal statute;
  • Failure to abide by a local, state, or federal rule or regulation; or
  • Unsafe working conditions or work practices in your place of work. 

Second, you need to provide this information to one of several people. Specifically, you need to disclose this information to:

  • A government agency;
  • A law enforcement entity;
  • A supervisor, manager, or person with authority over the employer; or
  • Another employee with the ability to investigate, discover, or correct the problem. 

Besides those who report misconduct or illegal activities, anyone who declines to engage in an action that would violate a state or federal statute, as well as a local, state, or federal regulation or policy, falls under the definition of a whistleblower.

What Is the California Whistleblower Protection Act Statute of Limitations?

One of the most important provisions of the CWPA is its statute of limitations, which sets a time limit for filing a complaint. The statute of limitations for filing a complaint under the CWPA is one year from the retaliation or adverse employment action date.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline and cannot be extended. Therefore, it is crucial that potential clients who believe they have been subjected to retaliation for whistleblowing act quickly and seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Why Should I Hire a Whistleblower Attorney?

Whistleblower laws are complex. In addition understanding the underlying legal violations, you need an attorney who handles employment law matters. Because whistleblower attorneys need to understand various types of laws and regulations, you should look for an attorney with specific expertise in whistleblower representation. 

A good lawyer will assess the strength of your claims and determine whether your employer’s conduct violates whistleblower laws. Then, they can file complaints with the appropriate government agencies on your behalf. Furthermore, a qualified lawyer can advise you on the steps to maximize your potential reward and help you understand what your case might be worth. 

Want to Learn More About the California Whistleblower Protection Act? King & Siegel LLP Is Ready to Help 

As a whistleblower, you play a vital role in society by exposing wrongdoing and promoting fairness. However, in doing so, we know you often put your career, finances, and well-being at risk. At King & Siegel, we recognize the toll that whistleblowing can take on those brave enough to do it. 

During a free initial consultation, we will carefully review the details of your case and help you understand your legal options. If filing a lawsuit is the best course of action, our experienced and successful team of attorneys will fight tirelessly on your behalf. 

Don’t leave your future to chance. Let us help you safeguard your rights and hold your employer accountable for any wrongdoing. Schedule your consultation today by contacting us online or by phone.

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Julian Burns King graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and founded King & Siegel in 2018. As head of the Firm’s discrimination and harassment practice areas, she champions the rights of working parents and victims of workplace discrimination and harassment. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers annually since 2018 and has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of her clients.

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