Originally Published on August 21, 2018; Updated/Revised on April 6, 2021
You may believe that your employer is violating the law. However, you may be reluctant to speak out or to report your employer’s illegal conduct, out of fear that your employer will retaliate against you (by terminating your employment, for example). California attempts to vitiate that fear through its whistleblower statute, otherwise known as California Labor Code Section 1102.5 (“Section 1102.5”). Section 1102.5 expressly prohibits the following conduct by your employer:
No. 1: Your employer may not retaliate against you for disclosing information about illegal conduct (a) externally to a government or law enforcement agency; or (b) internally to your supervisor(s) or to another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the legal violation (e.g., the company’s legal department).
No. 2: Your employer may not retaliate against you for refusing to participate in illegal conduct or activity.
No. 3: Your employer may not retaliate against perceived whistleblowers. For instance, your employer might believe that you are a whistleblower (when in reality, you are not a whistleblower). Regardless of whether you are a perceived whistleblower or an actual whistleblower, your employer may not retaliate against you in either instance.
No. 4: Your employer may not engage in “anticipatory retaliation.” This is when your employer retaliates against you because it anticipates that you might disclose information about the employer’s illegal conduct to a government or law enforcement agency (or to the company’s legal department, etc.). Section 1102.5 prohibits such conduct.
No. 5: Your employer may not retaliate against you because of the fact that you were a whistleblower in your previous employment.
No. 6: Your employer may not retaliate against you because of the fact that you are a family member of an actual or perceived whistleblower.
If you believe that your employer has violated any provision in Section 1102.5, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer in court.
Click here to read a summary of Ross v. County of Riverside, 36 Cal.App.5th 580 (2019), which discusses Section 1102.5.
If you have questions about Section 1102.5, call ((916) 612-0326) or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Concord.
The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.