Irvine Whistleblower Attorney
Whistleblower protections are a crucial part of employment law. If you witness your employer engaging in illegal activities, such as fraud, discrimination, or harassment, you are entitled to report those activities without consequence. Under California whistleblower law, you are protected from any adverse employment action as a result of reporting. Contact the office of Sessions & Kimball by using our online contact form or call us at (949) 380-0900 for a free consultation today.
Whistleblower Protection Laws
Generally, California law protects you from retaliation for reporting suspected violations of the law by your employer. It’s important to know what you can do and what constitutes retaliation so you can make sure you are protected.
Examples of Protected Whistleblower Activities
- You report your employer to law enforcement because you suspect that they are engaging in criminal activity
- You report your boss to a higher-up because you believe they are engaged in criminal activity
- You report your employer to the Labor Commission for wage violations
More Whistleblower Protection – The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, section 806
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal law that permits California employees to sue their employers in federal court if they retaliate against them for reporting unlawful conduct. This Act applies only to employees who meet the following criteria:
- They work for publicly traded companies or subsidiaries or contractors of publicly traded companies, and
- They report violations of federal securities fraud laws that are designed to protect shareholders of publicly traded companies
If you are an employee who meets that criteria and you are the victims of retaliation, you can take action. The first step you need to take is to file a complaint with the United States Secretary of Labor. In order to be timely, you must file the complaint within 180 days of when you first became aware of the retaliation. If the Secretary of Labor takes no action within 180 days, you will be permitted to file a lawsuit in federal district court. You will have four years from the date you learned of the unlawful retaliation to file a lawsuit.
Damages You’re Entitled To In A Sarbanes-Oxley Act Lawsuit
When you file a lawsuit based on this Act, you may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Back pay with interest
- Attorney’s fees and other court costs
- Emotional distress compensation
- Reputational damage awards
You Are Protected Even If Your Suspicion Was Wrong
Even if you reported behavior that turned out not to be illegal, you are still protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as long as you reasonably believed that there was a violation occurring.
Sessions & Kimball Wants To Help
Sessions and Kimball is Orange County’s oldest and largest employee rights law firm. We believe that everyone benefits when an employee holds an employer accountable. Our Irvine employment law attorneys help employees do exactly that. You should never tolerate mistreatment from your employer. If they’re treating you improperly or illegally, you can be confident that they’re treating others this way. If you’ve reported unlawful activity and believe you’re protected by whistleblower protections, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact the office of Sessions & Kimball by using our online contact form or call us at (949) 380-0900 for a free consultation today.