Articles Posted in whistleblower rights

We’ve heard all too many stories since the emergence of the #MeToo movement about women who wanted to come forward with theirwhistleblower attorneys accounts of workplace sexual misconduct, but their companies had created loopholes that made it nearly impossible or too risky to go public. One former Uber employee is kicking down some of those barriers and working alongside the California Assembly to make it happen.

The former Uber engineer drew national attention when she previously wrote a blog post about alleged sexual harassment and questionable practices within the company, according to Tech Crunch. Her courage to speak up led to the resignation of Uber’s then CEO last summer. Now the ex-employee is supporting a bill that will help women in situations like hers to be able to seek public legal action. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales Fletcher (D-San Diego) introduced AB-3080, a bill that addresses one of the major ways companies try to silence internal complaints: forced arbitration.

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The explosion of the #Metoo movement has rocked the country, advancing the fight against sexual harassment farther forward than Retaliation Attorneysever before. This has, of course, led to an influx of workplace sexual harassment lawsuits. But it also has caused ripple effects, including lawsuits for retaliation in the workplace, born from reporting of harassment to superiors unwilling to address issues.

Californians have been following one such case in our own State Senate. Several staffers of Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) have been in the news recently after allegations surfaced of sexual harassment by the senator, with the former aides alleging they were fired for reporting the harassment.

Amidst investigations being conducted by an outside law firm, one of the former aides is taking formal steps by filing a discrimination complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the California Senate, Mendoza, and two legislative officials. The complain alleges that she was retaliated against for coming forward with harassment allegations.

The filing of such a complaint would be a necessary first step in California should the former staffer decide to file a lawsuit. Whether a lawsuit will be filed in not yet decided, according to a report from The Sacramento Bee. Continue reading

When whistleblowers come forward to expose wrongdoing within a company, it is important that there be protections for thoseWhistleblower rights reporting the misdeeds. Too often whistleblowers face retaliation, including harassment at work, threats, or wrongful termination.

Even more extreme, sometimes laws are put in place that punish whistleblowers rather than the companies accused of wrongdoing.

Such is the case in Idaho where the U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals struck down part of a law meant to prevent undercover investigations in livestock and meatpacking plants. The court determined that the law, known more commonly as the “ag gag” law, violated the right to free speech under the First Amendment by too broadly restricting the ability to record and report issues within the industry, according to a report from The Associated Press. Continue reading

California is an at-will employment state, which means employees can be fired for any reason and with no warning. There are however some exceptions to the rule that would categorize such dismissals as a wrongful termination.wrongful termination

Some examples include if there was an agreement that required good cause for termination or if there was discrimination against a protected class. According to the California Labor Code Section 1102.5, an employer is also forbidden from firing an employee for refusing to commit an illegal act. Likewise, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee by terminating them for reporting such illegal activities. Such exceptions are essential to maintain laws and to protect whistleblowers who risk their livelihoods to come forward.

Whistleblower retaliation can be difficult to prove without proper guidance. If this sounds like something you have experienced on the job, it is important to seek assistance from a knowledgeable employment attorney who can counsel you on your rights and if there is a case for a lawsuit. Continue reading

Employers can encounter many different types of whistleblowers in their daily operations. Most people imagine the classic example of a low-level employee who alerts federal authorities to embezzlement, fraud, or other white collar crimes. But these types of blatant offenses are increasingly rare. Whistleblowers can bring attention to a wide variety of far more subtle violations. These can all expose the unprepared employer to legal liability, poor public relations, and other damaging consequences.California whistleblower lawyers

Whistleblowers have rights under both state and federal law. The California Labor Code prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report a violation of the law to government authorities.  Similarly, the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act also prohibits retaliation against employees who report violations of the Act. Employers who do not appropriately respond to whistleblower complaints may therefore face both state and federal liability – in addition to administrative consequences (such as the loss of a business license) and bad publicity. Continue reading