Were you affected by Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram being down on Monday? For several hours, the outage left billions of people around the world without access. While it’s not uncommon for any of the apps to temporarily stop working, the circumstances leading up to it were questionable.
On Sunday, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen claimed the company used its social platform to spread violence and misinformation during her appearance on “60 Minutes.” The company allegedly dismissed how their platforms harmed teens’ mental health. The interview came after she released thousands of internal documents to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook has since denied her claims.
In an interview with CNN, Haugen shared that she came forward because “almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook.” As anyone in the same position, it takes a lot of courage to address or report certain types of wrongdoing within a company. Even without a whistleblower attorney, you are afforded protections against wrongful termination and retaliation. California laws mainly safeguard:
- Employees who report criminal activity to law enforcement or the government
- Employees who report violations to a supervisor or employer for investigation
- Employees who report wage and hour discrepancies or other labor board complaints
- Public employees who report “economically wasteful” or “inefficient” activities to a state auditor
Although Facebook claimed that the major internet outage was not due to the recent revelations against the company, it has brought more attention to the wrongdoing. Haugen is unlikely to face retaliation. She left the company two years ago, meaning she’s free from the risk of losing her job. That is unfortunately not the reality for other Californians who depend on the ability to return to their jobs.
If you were the victim of whistleblower retaliation you should reach out to a labor attorney for employees. At Mann & Elias we’ve helped hundreds of clients in the Los Angeles area keep their jobs and recover damages from an employer.