Sacramento Whistleblower Attorney
A person who reveals wrongdoing by alerting the authorities is known as a “whistleblower.” In fact, the term “whistleblowing” was linked to an 1883 story in the Janesville Gazzettewhere a whistle was used to alert authorities of a pending riot. Since then, whistleblower have more commonly been associated with employees who expose their employers illegal and often times unsafe behavior.
Due to the fact that whistleblowers face a huge risk of reprisal and a severe loss to their professional reputation, there a number of federal and California state laws available to protect them from retaliation.
Sacramento Whistleblowers Are Protected from Retaliation
There are multiple state and federal laws in place to protect whistleblowers who expose illegal and unsafe behavior. The Sacramento whistleblower attorneys at Miracle Mile Law Group are well versed in Federal and State whistleblower laws which include:
False Claims Act: also known as the “Lincoln Law,” the False Claims Act is a Federal law that imposes liability on companies that intentionally defraud the government. The False Claims Act includes a clause called the qui tam provision, which allows individuals who are not affiliated with the government to sue for damages. These whistleblowers are officially known as relators and they can potentially receive up to 15-25% of the total compensation received.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Whistleblower laws: whistleblowers who report illegal violations of OSHA laws or regulations are protected under Labor Code 6311.
Labor Code Section 1102.5: whistleblowers who report any violation of law to either a government agency or anyone within the company who has the power to rectify the illegal violation are protected under Labor Code 1102.5. Keep in mind, the employee does not have to report an actual violation of law. It is sufficient that the employee had a good faithbelief that he or she was reporting a violation of law.
Labor Code Section 98.6: employees who complain about wage, overtime, or other hour laws are protected from retaliation and wrongful discharge under Labor Code 98.6. There is a $10,000 statutory penalty for ever violation of this code.
Labor Code Section 6310: whistleblowers who complain about any safety hazard or violation are protected under Labor Code 6310.
Labor Code Section 132(a): employees who are injured at work are entitled to worker’s compensation. Often times, employers retaliate against employees who take worker’s compensation by terminating their employment or taking other adverse employment actions against them. These employees are protected from such retaliation under Labor Code section 132(a).
How Does A Sacramento Whistleblower Case Proceed?
Filing a whistleblower case is usually different than most lawsuits. There is an increased amount of exposure involved and therefore, the cases must be approached with caution. Miracle Mile Law Group understands the complexity and technicalities associated with these types of cases.
That said, our lawyers spend a great deal of time investigating each and every case before filing a lawsuit. We will make sure to understand the type of business and illegal violations involved. Once our investigation is complete, we file a lawsuit on your behalf, or the government’s behalf in the case of a Qui Tam case. We then conduct written discovery (getting information from the other side), oral deposition, and other related motions. If we have to, we will then take your case to trial.
How Do I Know I Have A Good Whistleblower Case?
Often times, creating a strong whistleblower case revolves around formulating a persuasive narrative. That is where our lawyers shine. After we conduct a sufficient amount of investigation, we then proceed with creating a truthful narrative that highlights the strengths of your case. However, in order to be successful on any whistleblower action, you must prove:
- You were an employee of the employer
- A report was made either to someone higher up in the company or to government authorities
- You suffered an adverse action such as a demotion, termination, or other related negative consequences.
- There was a causal link between the adverse action and the report you made: this is probably the toughest element to prove in a whistleblower case for a couple reasons. Rarely will your boss send you an email saying that the reason they are terminated you is because you complained about something illegal. Therefore, the best way to prove this element is by circumstantial evidence (such as timing—you were fired right after making the complaint). Our Sacramento whistleblower attorneys will assist you in the proving your case.
What Kind of Damages Can A Sacramento Whistleblower Attorney Obtain For Me?
The damages a whistleblower can obtain is fact-sensitive as no two cases are the same. However, the most common types of damages available in whistleblower retaliation cases include:
- Back pay, this includes the money you would have received had you not suffered the adverse action. This includes lost wages and lost benefits.
- Front pay: is the amount you would have received in the future had you not suffered the adverse action.
- Compensatory damages: in other words, pain and suffering, includes the money you should be awarded to make you whole for your emotional distress.
- Liquidated damages: also known as punitive damages, this type of compensation is designed to deter and punish the employer to send a message.
Get Help Now
If you believe you have been fired illegally, contact a Sacramento whistleblower attorney today. Having a lawyer by your side will increase the chances of receiving compensation. Give us a call at (888) 244-0706 or contact us online for a FREE case evaluation. Remember, we do not take a single dollar unless WE WIN!