San Francisco Whistleblower Lawyer

Contact Us Today

Doing what is right should not cost you your job. When employees report health and safety violations or other illegal acts (such as harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation) to the authorities or their employer, their courage to bring attention to such wrongdoing should be rewarded, not punished. If you are fired, threatened with termination, or retaliated against for telling the truth about corruption or other unlawful practices in your workplace, you may have a potential claim against your employer.

Learn more about whistleblowing, who is protected against retaliation for whistleblowing, and what to do if you think you've been the victim of whistleblowing retaliation.

What is Whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing refers to an employee disclosing information about illegal, unethical, or improper activities happening at their place of employment. Such disclosures are typically made to either a government or law enforcement agency – alternatively, the employee can also disclose information to an authority figure within the employer organization who is empowered to address misconduct.

Several state and federal laws protect "whistleblowers" who report what they reasonably believe to be illegal conduct that endangers public safety, defrauds the government, or otherwise injures the general public. These laws are complex and constantly changing, so it's important to work with an experienced whistleblower attorney who can help you navigate your case and fight for your rights.

The attorneys at SLF are well-versed in the federal and state laws that protect employees from retaliation for whistleblowing and are here to provide information and guidance if you have suffered retaliation for reporting illegal violations in the workplace. If you believe you have suffered or may suffer whistleblower retaliation and need a lawyer's advice, contact our office for guidance.

Who Can Be a Whistleblower?

A whistleblower can be virtually anyone who has knowledge of and reports illegal, unethical, or wrongful behavior. This can include:

  • Employees: Current or former employees are the most common types of whistleblowers. They can report misconduct they have witnessed firsthand in the workplace.

  • Contractors and Subcontractors: Individuals who are not formal employees but work for an organization under a contract can also be whistleblowers if they observe illegal activity in the workplace.

  • Unpaid Interns and Volunteers: Under AB 1143, whistleblower protections can be extended to unpaid interns and volunteers.

  • Public Sector Workers: Employees in public or government organizations can be whistleblowers, particularly under laws like the California Whistleblower Protection Act, which is specific to state employees.

  • Healthcare Workers: In the healthcare sector, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can be whistleblowers, especially in cases of healthcare fraud, patient safety violations, or public health risks.

Laws Applicable to Whistleblowing

Several laws in California specifically provide protections for whistleblowers and outline the legal framework for addressing issues related to whistleblowing:

  • California Labor Code Section 1102.5: One of the broadest whistleblower protection laws in the United States, this law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal law. It also covers internal disclosures about noncompliance or legal violations.

  • California Whistleblower Protection Act: Particularly relevant for state employees, this law safeguards those who report state government wrongdoing, including waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or threats to public health and safety.

  • False Claims Act (FCA) and California False Claims Act (CFCA): For those who report fraud against government funds, the FCA and CFCA are particularly relevant in whistleblower claims. These laws allow individuals to file lawsuits on behalf of the government and can result in monetary rewards for successful claims.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Whistleblower Protections: If the whistleblowing involves workplace health and safety violations, OSHA's provisions become relevant to a whistleblower case.

In summary, the above laws are designed to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and encourage employees to report employer misconduct.

Contact an Experienced Whistleblower Lawyer in San Francisco

At The Sampath Law Firm, we possess extensive knowledge of both federal and state laws safeguarding employees against retaliation due to whistleblowing. If you suspect that you are a victim of whistleblower retaliation and require legal counsel, please reach out to our San Francisco office for guidance.

The Sampath Law Firm Is Here for You

At The Sampath Law Firm, we focus on employment law and we are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

Contact Us Today

The Sampath Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about employment-related law issues and other workplace injustices in California.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.