Termination After Reporting Fraudulent Activity
By Gregory Thyberg on July 31, 2019
If you witness criminal activity while you are at work, it’s crucial that you report this activity to the authorities as soon as possible. This allows the justice system to work as designed, and for companies to be held accountable for illegal and unethical activities. While reporting such activities is heroic, many employees face retaliation from their company simply be being a good, upstanding citizen.
Employment law attorney Gregory A. Thyberg has helped numerous whistleblowers in the Sacramento, CA area who’ve been the victims of wrongful termination and employer retaliation. We’d like to consider some legal protections in place for whistleblowers and what options are out there if your employer has fired you for speaking out.
Whistleblower Laws in the United States
At the federal level, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 offers protection to federal employees who work for the government. Reporting fraudulent and illegal activity in these situations does a service to the way the country as a whole functions.
State protections are given through the California Whistleblower Protection Act. This law states that employees should be able “to report waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or threat to the public without fear of retribution.”
In essence, if you are doing a public good in reporting illicit behavior at your company, you should not experience retaliation by your employer.
What Is Employer Retaliation?
Employer retaliation refers to any act by a company, its management, or its supervisors to punish an employee for their legal actions. In the case of whistleblowers, this could take the form of termination from your position, a pay cut, a demotion, threatening behavior at work, or any sort of harassment at the workplace. The primary justification for creating this toxic work environment is a type of revenge for the whistleblower simply being a good person who believes in the rule of law.
None of these retaliatory actions are acceptable. There are laws in place to protect workers in Sacramento and other employees throughout the state from these acts of retaliation. That’s why any whistleblower out there must be aware that the law is on their side.
Proving Retaliation After You’ve Become a Whistleblower
Proving retaliation for whistleblowing can be challenging, especially since companies may be more subtle in how they punish their employees for speaking out. It’s essential to demonstrate the cause-and-effect relationship between your act of reporting illegal behavior and being punished by your employer for that action.
Companies may try to justify retaliation and termination by citing poor job performance, complaints from employees, and other matters. This is why it’s important to speak with an attorney about your wrongful termination case.
Filing an Employer Retaliation Complaint
It’s important that you file a formal complaint of retaliation with the California Department of Industrial Relations. This will allow the claim to be investigated. It’s also important to reach out the legal team at ThybergLaw so you can receive legal advice on how to proceed and what to expect from the process. Our law firm will be with you every step of the way.
Speak with a Lawyer About Your Wrongful Termination
For more information about your legal options after being fired from your job for unjust reasons, be sure to contact a skilled employment law and whistleblower attorney. ThybergLaw is here to help. You can reach us in Sacramento by calling (916) 204-9173.