Whistleblowers

Is there something going on at work that is fundamentally legally WRONG?  Does it make you feel dirty to be involved?  Do you want to “blow the whistle” on the wrongdoers?  You may or may not be protected legally from retaliation for becoming a “whistleblower” by reporting them.  You may even be entitled to a substantial reward, if your employer is cheating the government.  Contact us to review your options.

On the flip side, if you are an employer and you are concerned about whether you can discipline or terminate a troublemaker/whisteblower (and you should be), contact us to review the situation.

When is a Whistleblower Protected from Retaliation?

Courts have said that an employee is protected from retaliation if s/he blows the whistle on wrongdoers at work, IF the wrong being reported is a violation of a “fundamental public policy.”  Not every wrong violates a “fundamental public policy” though, so not all whistleblowers are protected.   That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney before you make a move.

Helping Employers Avoid Whistleblower Cases

One recent case involved an employee who was terminated because she would not sign a non-compete agreement.  The employer in that case paid a substantial sum to settle, because statutory antitrust law prohibits “contracts in restraint of trade” and California courts have held that most non-compete agreements are unlawful “contracts in restraint of trade.”  The employee was terminated for refusing to enter into an unlawful contract…not exactly a “whistleblower” but the employer violated a “fundamental public policy” nonetheless.  So employers:  Give us a call FIRST.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.