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Mountain View Whistleblower Attorneys

Society depends on companies to obey the law and act ethically. But many corrupt organizations fail in their legal and ethical obligations and engage in all kinds of fraudulent behavior. When that happens, it falls to everyday people to take action.

Nevertheless, deciding to blow the whistle on your employer is a huge decision. Employers willing to break the law often will not hesitate to retaliate against whistleblowers. The good news is that you have rights. Both state and federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation. Take a few moments to read about the key to a successful whistleblower action. This article will also discuss the legal definition of a whistleblower and existing whistleblower protections.

If you have blown the whistle on your employer or are thinking about it, reach out to one of our Mountain View whistleblower lawyers right away. 

What Is a Whistleblower?

Dictionary.com defines “whistleblower” as “a person who informs on another or makes public disclosure of corruption, wrongdoing, problems, or secret information, especially within an organization.” But that is just a general definition. When it comes to filing a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit, you need to know the legal definition of a whistleblower. 

This is where things become more complicated. There are multiple federal and state laws in California protecting whistleblowers. Each one defines whistleblower differently. For instance, the False Claims Act (FCA) defines a whistleblower as anyone who reports fraud against the federal government by a private company. Under the FCA, someone who reports fraud against a state government or a private company is not a whistleblower, but they may be under another law. So to discover whether you qualify as a whistleblower, you need to understand which law applies to your case. 

California Whistleblower Protections

Multiple federal and state laws protect whistleblowers in different contexts. For instance, California Labor Code Section 1102.5 prohibits retaliation against an employee who has reported their employer for:

  • Violating a state or federal law;
  • Violating or refusing to comply with a local, state, or federal regulation; or
  • Allowing unsafe working conditions or work practices to exist at the employee’s workplace.

Under this section, the employee need not disclose information to a government employee to qualify as a whistleblower. They are also deemed a whistleblower if they make the report to a supervisor, another employee who can investigate wrongdoing, or a public body. Compared to the FCA, the definition of a whistleblower under California Labor Code Section 1102.5 is very broad.

Federal Laws with Whistleblower Protections

Earlier, we mentioned the False Claims Act. However, there are several other federal laws that protect whistleblowers in different situations. For example the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA) allows employees of companies that are listed on public stock exchanges, or otherwise regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  to report fraudulent activities. Specific activities that an employee can report under the SOA include securities fraud, shareholder fraud, wire fraud, or any violations of federal securities laws. Section 806 of the SOA specifically prohibits terminating, demoting, suspending, harassing, or discriminating in any way against a whistleblower because of their disclosures. Similarly, the Dodd-Frank Act actually incentivizes people to report violations of securities laws. 

I don't have words to thank you the king and Siegel team worked so hard on my case during the pandemic and I am so grateful and proud of my outcome with them. They are reasonable and reliable. Those you can trust .. everytime I had a question they would answer it I recommend them 100 percent.. am so thankful for the team .. my worries and stress are over .. a huge weight over my shoulder was lifted and was able to help my family during this hard time thank you so much king and Siegel team..
Vanessa Ponce
Vanessa Ponce
March 8, 2022
I was really nervous about hiring a lawyer but Julian and everyone in her office made the process as stress-free as it could be. She is kind, reassuring and confident and that helps make the process feel less scary. she also knows what kinds of outcomes are reasonable and will explain in detail why, and has a plan to get there. I cannot recommend her more highly.
Ines Martinez
Ines Martinez
March 8, 2022
I had the pleasure of being represented by this wonderful office and their attorneys! They were very quick about answering any questions and most times explained things so well that my questions were answered before I got the chance to ask them. I had an amazing experience, everyone is kind and very attentive to your wants and needs. A case can be very stressful and they did a great job at keeping me sane and comfortable through the entire process. I recommend them 100%.
Adrianna Sells
Adrianna Sells
October 25, 2021
This in an incredibly professional and responsive firm. There was an ease about getting initial information, scheduling, and working with their talented team. While I found it to be true of everyone that I encountered here, it was Julian Burns King that really went above and beyond. Her expertise, experience, and knowledge of employment law and its many facets coupled with her empathy and compassion for her clients, is truly one of a kind. I would absolutely recommend King & Siegel to anyone in need of legal advice or representation.
Jeri Mares
Jeri Mares
October 12, 2021
Everyone at this firm was so helpful, supportive, and nice. The settlement I got changed my life and working with them was as good as a lawsuit could possibly be. I am so glad I found them for my wrongful termination suit.
Evelyn A
Evelyn A
September 25, 2021
I’m glad I trusted the team of King & Seigel to handle my case they are the definition of professionalism. They were honest and very upfront with the process and kept me informed every step of the way not to mention I’m more than happy with the results. Thank you again to the team of King and Seigel.
Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez
December 9, 2020
Julian & Elliot are very good lawyers and I am glad I trusted them with my case. When I hired attorneys, I didn't know what to look for, but I am glad I found them. They were always attentive to my case and I never felt lost even though I did not have any prior experience with litigation. Ultimately, they got a result I was happy with and I am so glad I had them to help me put this experience behind me. You would be lucky to have them in your corner.
Ryan J
Ryan J
August 5, 2020
I would like to thank this amazing duo and their staff for taking care of my friend and I. They were patient and polite, very prompt, and always professional! Thank you all so much! 💜
Yanni Boo
Yanni Boo
July 15, 2020

Common Types of Whistleblower Reports

Although all whistleblower disclosures involve a violation of federal or California law, some claims are particularly common. These claims include:

  • Healthcare fraud. Healthcare fraud includes situations where physicians or nurses bill Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary tests. It also occurs when healthcare companies use incorrect medical billing codes to receive extra Medicare funds. 
  • Tax fraud. Tax fraud involves bogus tax returns filed by private companies and organizations. It may also include allegations of funneling money into shell companies to hide income and expenses. 
  • Labor violations. Unethical companies sometimes force workers to report fewer hours than they actually worked. Other labor violations include illegal discrimination and harassment, such as sexual harassment.  
  • Government contracting fraud. The government continually hires private companies to carry out special goods and services on its behalf. Contracting fraud claims often include allegations that a contractor provided intentionally shoddy or defective goods to the government to cut down costs. 
  • Consumer Fraud. Many employees speak up when their companies defraud or deceive consumers. There are a wide variety of industries where whistleblowers commonly report illegal consumer practices, including the mortgage industry, the banking industry, and other companies that provide financial services..

If you are considering reporting any of these or another violation, reach out to an experienced whistleblower attorney to better understand your options and the potential consequences.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Whistleblower Retaliation?

The first thing to do is to confirm that your employer is violating a state or federal law or regulation or is engaging in some kind of fraudulent behavior. 

Once you have done that, collect all the evidence you possibly can. Common types of evidence include video and audio recordings, emails, written documents, and company policies. We also encourage you to keep a journal of all your activities. Be sure to note key conversations, dates, and actions. 

Once you have taken these steps, retain an experienced attorney. Ideally, you will want to hire a local Mountain View attorney with experience defending whistleblowers. You should also confirm that the attorney has a proven track record of success and positive customer reviews. 

Find Out More About Your Claim with One of Our Mountain View Whistleblower Attorneys Today

It’s essential to move quickly if you want to file a whistleblower claim. Waiting gives bad actors more time to cover up their tracks. In addition, time inevitably causes evidence to degrade. You can even have your case thrown out of court if you wait too long. 

When you set up a free and confidential consultation with King & Siegel, we will sit down with you and hear your story. Once you tell us the facts of your case, our skillful attorneys will apply the law to your situation and present your legal options. Whatever you decide, we are committed to providing you the aggressive legal representation you deserve. In addition, we pride ourselves on being accessible to our clients and staying in constant communication with them. Lastly, we have a great track record with our customers, as shown by our many outstanding client testimonials. Worried about legal fees? Don’t be. We offer each potential client a free and confidential case review session. So don’t wait. Contact us today.

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