A: Labor Code Section 1102.5 sets forth protections for employees who report violations of, or noncompliance with, state or federal law. It reads as follows: “An employer may not make, adopt or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, where there employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
Section 1102.5 states that ,”An employer may not retaliate against an employee 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 statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation. ”
Likewise, an employer may not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of state or federal statutes, or a violation or noncompliance with state or federal rules or regulations.
Not only is a current employer prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against a whistle-blower, any employee who has previously reported unlawful activity cannot be retaliated against by any subsequent employer.
In addition to other penalties, an employer that is a corporation or limited liability company is liable for a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each violation of Section 1102.5.
You can call the California attorney general’s Whistleblower Hotline at (800)952-5225 and/or report the conduct to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you make a report and your employer does retaliate against you, since you have engaged in an action that is designed to promote safety, you have civil remedies for a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
This can include lost wages (past and future) as well as noneconomic damages for the stress, anxiety and humiliation caused by being fired for standing up for what is right (and losing your income for an unlawful reason).
Additionally, an employer who engages in this action may be held accountable for punitive damages for engaging in oppressive conduct that violates the rights and safety of others.
Stand up for what is right before this allegedly drunken nephew kills someone or blows up a neighborhood. If your employer retaliates, I, or another trial lawyer like myself, will stand up for you and hold your employer accountable.