Some employers illegally take advantage of their positions of power over employees. You might see an employer abuse power by punishing workers who reveal an employer’s unlawful practices or refuse to participate in illegal activities at work. A business that takes adverse action against an employee who exposes or abstains from engaging in illegal acts commits whistleblower retaliation. Federal and California laws protect employees from whistleblower retaliation by allowing whistleblowers to recover damages and holding offending employers civilly and criminally liable.
What is the average settlement for whistleblower retaliation in CA? Every settlement is different, and there is no true “average” for whistleblower claims. However, you can gauge your potential for legal recovery in a settlement by understanding your rights under whistleblower protection laws. At King & Siegel LLP, our attorneys are highly experienced, have received the best training, and can guide and protect you in a whistleblower protection claim.
What Is a Whistleblower?
Under California law, a whistleblower is someone who reports an employer’s violation of the law to an authority figure or someone who refuses to take part in an employer’s illegal activity. A whistleblower’s right to relief depends on the circumstances of their report of an employer’s legal violation.
A Whistleblower Must Have Reasonable Cause to Believe That Their Employer Violated the Law
To take advantage of whistleblower protections, an employee who reveals their employer’s misconduct must have reasonable cause to believe that their employer:
- Violated a state or federal statute;
- Disobeyed a local, state, or federal rule or regulation; or
- Failed to maintain safe working conditions.
A whistleblower is also protected if they refuse to break the law on behalf of their employer.
Whistleblowers Must Make Their Report of Illegal Activity to the Proper Authority Figure
Once an employee determines they have reasonable cause to report their employer for a breach of the law, they must make sure they reveal the information to the proper authority figure. A whistleblowing employee has legal cover if they report their employer to one of the following individuals or entities:
- A supervisor;
- A non-supervisor employee who has the authority to investigate or correct the employer violation;
- A public investigatory body;
- A law enforcement agency; or
- A government agency.
If your disclosure of your employer’s unlawful behavior is reasonable and made to the proper authority, your employer cannot lawfully retaliate against you for your actions.
What Is Whistleblower Retaliation?
Unsurprisingly, many businesses that engage in illegal activity have no qualms about violating the rights of their employees through retaliatory actions. You are a victim of whistleblower retaliation if your employer does the following in response to your whistleblowing or refusal to engage in illegal activity:
- Terminates your job,
- Reduces your pay,
- Denies you a promotion or pay increase,
- Terminates your benefits,
- Excludes you from work activities or opportunities,
- Subjects you to disciplinary action, or
- Threatens to take adverse action against you.
If your employer engages in whistleblower retaliation against you, you can sue them in court or settle with them.
What Is a Whistleblower Retaliation Settlement?
Whistleblower retaliation can wreak havoc on many areas of a whistleblower’s life, including their financial well-being, their emotional well-being, and their professional options. To combat the effects of an unscrupulous employer’s retaliatory behavior, state and federal laws allow whistleblowing employees to recover a wide array of damages.
What is included in a whistleblower retaliation settlement? In a whistleblower retaliation settlement, you can receive the following:
- Back pay for lost wages,
- Job and benefit reinstatement,
- Compensation for future financial losses,
- Injunctive relief,
- Payment for emotional harm,
- Punitive damages to penalize an employer for particularly abhorrent behavior, and
- Attorney fees.
Whatever the basis of your retaliation complaint, one of our experienced whistleblower retaliation attorneys at King & Siegel can help ensure you receive as much compensation as possible in a settlement or court award.
Let Our Legal Experts at King & Siegel Help You
You deserve protection for standing up for what is right in your workplace, and King & Siegel can provide you with superior protection in a whistleblower claim. Our attorneys at King & Siegel have exceptional reputations and have earned top ratings in the legal community. We received our education at top-five law schools, and we trained at the largest and best litigation firms in the nation, so we are specially equipped to fight legal battles against large employers. If you are looking for top-level, personalized legal representation for an employment dispute, you can depend on us. Contact us online or call us for a free consultation.