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Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation

Any California employee should be able to report his or her employer's violation of law or breaching of public trust and should not have to fear termination. Nevertheless, even though the vital role whistleblowers play in society is recognized by state and federal authorities, retaliation is prevalent. However, more and more states now have laws to protect employees that blow the whistle on their employers.

Retaliation after reporting any irregularities, even if it is not an official whistleblowers report, is illegal, and employees who consider filing any such report can take several steps to protect themselves. It all boils down to keeping accurate records, which could start with the date on which the report was filed, with whom it was filed and any immediate retaliation experienced. From then on, evidence must be gathered, but care must be taken to be discreet and to avoid doing anything illegal.

Keep records of before and after performance evaluations to show any noticeable changes, along with copies of attendance registers and any disciplinary actions following the report. The same goes for company policies and comparing notes related to subsequent treatment that violates those policies. It may help to discretely ascertain whether colleagues are aware of the transgressions and how they feel about it. During all this time, it is important not to do anything that might bring about justified disciplinary action.

When it comes to the legal side of things, there are time limits for filing claims of retaliation -- regardless of whether it relates to whistleblowers or other reports. The type of protection available will depend on the circumstances of the particular case. An experienced California employment law attorney can advise a victim of retaliation of his or her rights and how to avoid being fired after making a whistleblower's report.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Be a Whistleblower and Keep Your Job", Aug. 29, 2017

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