Riverside Whistleblower Lawyer
Protecting Brave Workers Blowing the Whistle Across Southern California
California and federal laws protect workers who discover that their employers are engaged in a pattern and practice of illegal conduct. If you uncover embezzlement, insurance fraud, workplace safety issues, labor law violations, or other unlawful behavior at your company, the practiced and professional whistleblower, retaliation, and workers’ rights attorneys at Ochoa & Calderón are ready to help you get the compensation you are owed and the justice you deserve.
What is a Whistleblower?
When an employer wrongs an individual employee–engages in discrimination, denies them earned overtime, etc.–the employee has the right to bring a lawsuit under California state or federal law. Often, however, employees do not feel empowered to bring their own claims–they may be too afraid of retaliation, or they might not even realize they have been wronged. In many cases, employers may be engaging in unlawful activity that does not directly impact a particular worker, such as committing embezzlement or insurance fraud. In those instances, a worker who learns of the conduct has the right to “blow the whistle” by alerting state or federal authorities about the unlawful activity.
Whistleblowers make larger-scale problems at their companies known to state or federal authorities. Whistleblowers are guaranteed protection against retaliation for making the unlawful activities known. Moreover, whistleblowers can help the government bring claims against unscrupulous employers and collect a portion of the ultimate financial penalty the employer incurs. If a problem is substantial and widespread, the employee who blows the whistle could be eligible to receive substantial compensation for their efforts.
What Issues Give Rise to Whistleblower Claims?
Whistleblower claims must be based on legitimate, significant issues. The conduct should not be minor or harmless. There is a wide range of conduct, however, that can give rise to a whistleblower claim. An employee can blow the whistle about any conduct that violates federal or state laws or regulations, including:
- Criminal activity by the company or taking place at the company
- A miscarriage of justice
- Activity giving rise to health and safety concerns (such as OSHA violations)
- Activity that poses a danger to the environment (such as undisclosed pollution)
- Bribery or fraud
- Labor law violations
- Activity that violates other laws or regulations
If you believe you have identified unlawful activity at your place of work, talk to a knowledgeable California whistleblower lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you investigate the conduct and determine if a whistleblower claim is possible, Your lawyer will also make sure that your complaint is filed with the appropriate parties while protecting you from unlawful retaliation and working to maximize your compensation in the event the government pursues your whistleblower claims.
California and federal laws protect workers from retaliation after blowing the whistle on unlawful behavior in the workplace. If a worker engages in the activities protected by California or OSHA whistleblower laws, their employer is legally prohibited from taking an adverse employment action against that employee in retaliation. Adverse employment actions include but are not limited to:
- Passing up for a promotion
- Cutting pay or hours
- Denying bonus or other compensation
- Denying benefits
- Unjustifiably transferring the employee to a less desirable position or location
- Unjustified discipline or poor performance reviews
- Engaging in threats, intimidation, or harassment
- Constructive discharge (making an employee’s working conditions so unbearable or impossible as to effectively force the worker to quit)
- Creating a hostile work environment subtly or overtly
Whistleblowing and Workers’ Compensation
California law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing for workers’ compensation or reporting OSHA violations and other safety issues. If an employee is terminated or otherwise punished for filing or attempting to file for workers’ comp after a workplace accident, that employee can bring a claim for unlawful retaliation or wrongful termination.
Whistleblowers are encouraged to report violations of any state or federal law, including anti-retaliation prohibitions and other labor laws. If a worker believes that their employer is retaliating against employees for filing for workers’ comp, or if they are threatening or otherwise discouraging employees from filing for workers’ comp, the worker can and should take affirmative action. Preventing employees from obtaining workers’ comp through threats, fraud, or other chilling behavior is unlawful and leaves injured workers without recourse for their medical bills and other damages.
If you suspect that your employer is preventing people from filing for workers’ comp, engaging in a practice of retaliation for workers’ comp claims, or otherwise violating California or federal labor laws, call a knowledgeable California whistleblower attorney for advice and representation. An experienced whistleblower lawyer can help you understand your rights and work with you to protect your rights and those of your fellow employees without fear of unlawful retaliation.
Whistleblower Lawyers Serving Riverside and Southern California
If you have identified illegal conduct in your workplace, call Ochoa & Calderón today for a free consultation on your potential whistleblower claim. We take appropriate cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only charge a fee if we are successful on your behalf, and our fees come as a percentage of the amount we recover for you. You’ve got nothing to lose by calling now, but you could miss out on enforcing your legal rights if you wait too long. Call us at 951-901-4444 in Riverside or throughout Southern California at 844-401-0750. Our lawyers are ready to fight for you.