Whistleblowers demonstrate tremendous courage to speak out against their own employers, usually to their own detriment. While every American employee has the right to file a whistleblower report in good faith when their employer has engaged in illegal actions, many of these individuals are subjected to various forms of retaliation. They may lose their jobs, face threats, or have their reputations and careers severely damaged in response to their reports.
The Azadian Law Group, PC believes that whistleblowers have an essential role in the modern workplace and that any employee who feels morally compelled to speak out about illegal activities in their workplace should be able to do so without fear of unjust reprisals. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many whistleblowers who are subjected to various forms of financial harm in response to their actions. If you believe your employer has illegally retaliated against you for acting as a whistleblower in Riverside, CA, we can help.
Our team has years of experience representing Riverside clients in a wide range of employment disputes. We have successfully handled many whistleblower retaliation claims and have helped clients secure substantial recoveries for their damages. If you have filed any type of whistleblower report and faced blowback from your employer due to your actions taken in good faith, we can help you determine your best options for legal recourse.
Whistleblower retaliation cases are very complex, and the average person with minimal experience in the employment law field is likely to face extensive confusion and uncertainty if they attempt to handle this type of case on their own. Employers who engage in retaliation against whistleblowers tend to go to whatever lengths they deem necessary to conceal their activities and avoid liability for claims of retaliation.
Whistleblowers often play critical roles in uncovering illegal activity and holding the parties responsible for such activity accountable for their actions. If you have experienced any adverse mistreatment at work due to your whistleblower report, a Riverside whistleblower attorney can help you address these situations effectively.
Your whistleblower report can generate more complex legal issues than you may realize. Your report may not only lead to a formal investigation of your workplace from the applicable oversight entities. However, you may also need to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if your employer takes any punitive action against you in response to your whistleblower report.
The EEOC claim process is more challenging than many claimants initially expect, but your legal team can assist you with your claim. Whistleblower retaliation is effectively a form of discrimination, and the EEOC is tasked with investigating all claims of workplace discrimination and harassment in the US. If you intend to file a civil claim against your employer for the adverse actions taken in response to your lawful whistleblower report, you must report your case to the EEOC before proceeding with your legal action.
A whistleblower is anyone who files a formal report against their employer to law enforcement agencies or government oversight agencies. Most whistleblower reports pertain to:
A whistleblower has various legal protections immediately prior to, during, and following the filing of their report. However, they only qualify for whistleblower protection if they file the report in good faith without hope for reward. Employers may not take adverse action against a whistleblower in any way. However, some of the most commonly reported forms of whistleblower retaliation in California include:
Employers who engage in such actions will typically do what they can to conceal their actions. For example, they may fire the whistleblower and claim poor job performance was their grounds for the termination, but if the employee’s review records indicate there was no problem with their performance, this could argue the termination was wrongful.
Ultimately, whistleblower retaliation cases can generate very complex and multifaceted legal proceedings. The whistleblower faces a very challenging series of proceedings, and a Riverside whistleblower lawyer is an invaluable asset in this scenario.
A whistleblower retaliation claim is a form of discrimination, so any employer affected by whistleblower retaliation must file a claim with the EEOC to secure approval to proceed with a civil lawsuit against their employer. An EEOC claim pertaining to a whistleblower case is also likely to generate formal investigations from the law enforcement agencies and oversight entities with jurisdiction over the employer or the subject of the whistleblower’s report.
To begin your whistleblower retaliation case, you must file a report with the EEOC explaining the nature of your report, the adverse treatment you experienced in response to your report, and the damages resulting from your experience. The EEOC may also require supporting documentation during their investigation of your claim. The investigation process must conclude within 180 days of filing your claim, at which time the EEOC will deliver notification of their findings.
If the EEOC believes your claim is valid, they will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue that allows you to proceed with a civil suit against your employer. When it comes to whistleblower retaliation cases, the EEOC will usually coordinate with other government agencies and may even initiate legal proceedings against the employer in question if their behavior is severe enough.
If you succeed in your EEOC claim and are able to file a civil lawsuit against your employer for whistleblower retaliation, your Riverside whistleblower lawyer will help you determine the full scope of the damages you can include in your claim. For example, if you lost your job in a wrongful termination that was a retaliation against your whistleblower report, your Riverside whistleblower lawyer can help you secure compensation for income and benefits lost, and they can also help you obtain reinstatement to your previous position if desired.
Employees subjected to whistleblower retaliation also have the right to claim compensation for the emotional distress they experienced. The adverse treatment they suffered from their employer can be psychologically harmful, and your Riverside whistleblower attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount of compensation for this. Additionally, you have the right to hold your employer accountable for the legal fees you incurred due to their illegal retaliation.
Other damages may also come into play based on the unique details of the case. For example, if your case pertains to a Qui Tam action, meaning you reported your employer for defrauding Medicare, Social Security, or another government program, you could potentially receive up to 30% of the monies recovered thanks to your report. When an employer’s actions are particularly egregious, the judge handling the case may also award punitive damages. These damages aim to penalize the defendant’s behavior, and the amount paid in punitive damages is typically reflective of the overall value of the business.
The statute of limitations or time limit for filing your whistleblower case in California is three years from the date of the adverse event you experienced. This may seem like more than enough time, but it’s vital to start working on your case as soon as possible for the best chance of success.
Many employees act as whistleblowers immediately upon discovering illegal activity in their workplace. Others are intimidated by their superiors or afraid for their jobs, and it can take them longer to file their whistleblower reports. Ultimately, a whistleblower must act in good faith in filing their report. It does not necessarily matter when they file their report, but filing it as soon as possible is generally a strong indicator of good faith.
Many whistleblower cases are extremely complex legal matters that often require extensive proceedings. Your case could potentially take several months to resolve, depending on the unique details of your case and the strength of the evidence supporting your position. Your Riverside whistleblower lawyer can provide an estimate of the timetable your case is likely to follow.
Many employment attorneys charge their clients by the hour, but the Azadian Law Group, PC uses a contingency fee billing model to make our legal representation more accessible. With a contingency fee, the client pays nothing unless we win their case, and there are no upfront costs for our services. We take a percentage of the final case award once we secure a positive result, and some claimants will be able to hold their employers accountable for their legal fees.
Whistleblowers are courageous and deserve the full protection of the laws in place at the state and federal levels intended to protect them. If you have experienced any adverse treatment due to your whistleblower report, the Azadian Law Group, PC can provide the compassionate legal counsel you need to navigate your case with confidence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Riverside whistleblower lawyer.