DO YOU NEED WHISTLEBLOWER LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN LOS ANGELES?
Are you thinking of blowing the whistle on fraud, abuse, or other illegal activity at work? If so, you have a critical decision to make.
Turning your head and looking the other way might work against you should another employee come forward. At the Law Offices of Mann & Elias, our employment attorneys can provide you with an advanced level of expertise to help you navigate through federal and state whistleblower laws.
WHO CAN BECOME A WHISTLEBLOWER?
Whistleblowers are the legal term for public or private employees who file a complaint of an employer or company’s illegal activity. They include employees from:
- Government sectors
- Political subdivisions
- Public companies
- Private organizations
- Educational institutions
Many are often afraid to come forward, although laws protect them. If you consider filing a whistleblower complaint, always make sure you first consult with a whistleblower attorney in Los Angeles.
YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK
As a whistleblower in Los Angeles, you will have the protection of various laws working in your favor.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal law that protects you against interference from an employer or another party once you file your complaint. Under the provisions of the act, a person deemed to interfere with the employment or livelihood of a whistleblower can face a fine of as much as $250,000 and even ten years in prison. Our legal team can assist you if you have had your livelihood threatened due to retaliation against your whistleblower complaint.
The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) protects employees once they come forward with a complaint. The U.S. government passed this law to protect those that disclosed the illegal acts of their superiors. However, it is essential to remember that to do so. You need to file your complaint correctly with the proper authorities, law enforcement, or a government regulatory agency.
The WPA offered whistleblowers better cover by:
- Clarifying the procedure that whistleblowers would follow to disclose illegal acts and retaliation
- Separating the Office of Special Counsel from that of the Merits Systems Protection Board. The OSC would be dedicated to receiving disclosures, investigating retaliation claims, and representing whistleblowers
The Federal False Claims Act also defends whistleblowers in California per Labor Code 1102.5 by making it illegal for employers to:
- Enforce policies that prevent you from reporting misconduct and activity
- Retaliate against employees that participate in federal or state activity
- Retaliate or wrongfully terminate workers who come forward with a whistleblower claim
Your employer has no right to retaliate against you through demotion, firing, suspension, or other similar acts. If this has taken place against you, never let it go unchecked. Instead, turn to a specialized lawyer for legal advice. This article provides information about how to report your employer for abuse of power, violations, mismanagement, or other unlawful acts.
HOW TO FILE A WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT
Suppose you are considering filing a whistleblower complaint against your employer and company. In that case, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) offers a plethora of protection laws for employees that report unlawful actions. However, each law has an accompanying deadline to act.
You can submit a report in four different ways:
- Online – you can submit the information directly to OSHA via a complaint form.
- Email/Mail/Fax – If you are not comfortable submitting the information online, you can do so via mail. Make sure to submit an online Whistleblower Complaint Form, which can be found online or at your local OSHA office.
- Telephone – you can call your local OSHA regional office to discuss the situation in detail and ask questions.
- In-Person – if you feel more comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, you can do so via your local OSHA office. You may need to call ahead of time to schedule an appointment.
HIRE THE TRIAL LAWYERS OTHER ATTORNEYS CONSULT
When you realize that your employer may be committing illegal acts, you may be eager to blow the whistle immediately. Before knowing what to do, you could make crucial mistakes. Therefore, you should always seek the advice of an experienced lawyer clients trust first.
Since 1998, The Law Offices of Mann & Elias have helped individuals just like you receive the benefits they deserve. We represent clients at every state and federal court system level in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties.
We know how to handle these cases best and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 323-866-9564 or email email@example.com to schedule your first consultation.
WHY CHOOSE MANN & ELIAS?
Since Scott Mann and Imad Elias have founded the employment law firm, they have successfully recovered hundreds of claims resulting in over $18 million in settlements and verdicts. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, our success is rooted in:
- 50+ years of trial experience
- Excellent advocacy skills
- Intense preparation and research
- Quality care
Contact us today for more information on how we can help protect you after filing a whistleblower complaint. We charge no fee for the initial consultation, and all cases get handled on a contingency basis.
RELATED ARTICLES ABOUT WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINTS
You have questions – we’ve got answers! Need more legal help? Check out a few of our legal articles below.
Depending on what you are reporting, most courts and accompanying laws that recognize the right to anonymity. You risk exposure if you use company-owned or company-issued technology. The attorney-client privilege protects the information you discuss while going through the process. You can find more information about this here.
What if I Am Wrong About My Complaint?
When you are considering the possibility of filing a whistleblower complaint, you may be concerned about what will happen if it turns out you are wrong about your suspicions. Whistleblower protection usually provided under state and federal law may not apply. If there is any question as to the nature of your complaint, contact our expert attorneys.
This article is an excellent resource with detailed information regarding what to do and avoid during the whistleblower investigation.
What To Expect During A Whistleblower Investigation
Before starting an investigation, the OSHA whistleblower investigator will notify the whistleblower, respondent, and federal partner. Following notification, they will do an in-depth review of current and newly uncovered evidence.
The OSHA investigator will interview your employer, witnesses, and anyone you mentioned in your complaint or interview. You should comply with all of OSHA’s requests when participating in the investigation. At some point, you will be asked to provide a written position statement of the allegations.
When the investigation is complete, OSHA will provide both parties with a documented record of the complaint. At this point, the investigation can take some time.
Damages and Compensation
When you have filed a whistleblower complaint and have been illegally retaliated against, you should never let these actions go without being punished. Once you consult with an experienced employment lawyer in Los Angeles, you will discover there are many types of damages for which you should seek compensation.
Two of the most common include emotional distress and punitive damages, which your attorney should always discuss at length. In California, there is no cap on the number of punitive damages plaintiffs can be awarded, so always make sure you have a legal strategy that will ultimately pay off in the end.
FAQs ABOUT WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINTS
Are there differences between retaliation and whistleblowing claims?
Yes. When filing a whistleblower claim against an employer, these focus on illegal actions you believe an employer has taken that will harm the public. In a retaliation claim, the focus is on actions directed at you by your employers, such as a demotion, salary cut, or firing. To better understand these claims, obtain legal representation by hiring one of our trusted attorneys.
What are the most common anti-retaliation claims?
These vary greatly, depending on the specific actions you are reporting. In most cases, employees will seek protection from retaliation under such laws as the False Claims Act, Dodd-Frank, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and other state and federal laws.
Are there time deadlines to file claims?
Yes. As with most legal matters, there are statutes of limitations regarding how long you have to file such claims. These can be as little as 72 hours for union grievances and six years in other situations. At Mann & Elias, we can help you navigate the complexities associated with these cases.
What if I haven’t been fired?
If your employer has not fired you but is making life on the job quite tricky, you may be able to win your case. However, to do so, you will need to have specific evidence of your employer’s actions against you, such as harassment, discrimination, or other actions that create a hostile work environment.
Are all whistleblower or anti-retaliation laws the same?
No. These can vary from state to state, and there can even be some variation in federal law as well. Also, variances can occur depending on whether you are a union employee or in other work situations.