Employees who report violations of labor laws, health codes, and other employment rules and regulations are protected under state and federal laws. While you may initially want to terminate or otherwise discipline an employee who reports a perceived violation at your business, it is in your best interest to abstain from such behavior. Employees enjoy protection under whistle-blower laws, which shield them from employer retaliation. The Pleasanton attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation advise employers about the most appropriate courses of action to take in complicated employment dispute matters — from whistle-blower actions to discrimination.
Under both the California Whistle Blower Protection Act and the Whistle Blower Protection Act of 1989, employees can report waste, fraud, abuse of authority and violations of laws at an area of employment. If an employer takes action against an employee for reporting such behavior, the employer faces legal consequences. For example, under the California Whistle Blower Act, you are subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and up to one year in prison for retaliating against an employee acting as a whistle blower.
However, this does not mean that you are powerless against an employee who reports an alleged violation, act of fraud or abuse of authority. At Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation, we review the facts of the whistle-blower case against you to determine whether it is valid or whether a false claim has been made. Additionally, our Pleasanton lawyers are prepared to litigate fiercely to protect your best interests.
Imagine that an employee has made derogatory statements about you, your business or a managing partner on Facebook or Twitter. Rather than taking immediate disciplinary action against the employee, you should first consult with an attorney at Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation in Pleasanton. Under the National Labor Relations Act, the employee’s statements on social media sites may be considered concerted activity and therefore protected from employer retaliation. For the behavior to be considered concerted activity, it must be proven that it was conducted in the authority of, or with, other employees. So, if the individuals who posted or responded to the employee’s comments were co-workers, they may be protected.
Whistleblower actions can become complicated very quickly. At Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation, we recognize the importance of defending employers against such claims swiftly and skillfully. For help with a labor and employment issue or other business law matter in or around Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, contact us today by phone at 925-468-0400 or online.
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