What is a Whistleblower?

As it pertains to your business, a whistleblower is either an employee or someone else who has knowledge of illegal or wrongful conduct and brings it to the attention of higher-ups or the general public. When companies have whistleblowers, they must be incredibly careful. They could be in serious trouble if they attempt to retaliate, especially in a civil lawsuit.

Whistleblowers may report information about a variety of activities in a business in which regulators may be interested. This could include:

  • Violations of environmental laws
  • Irregularities in financial reporting
  • Defective products sold by a company
  • Violations of OSHA worker safety rules
  • Corporate coverups of illegal conduct

Whistleblowers Have a Legal Right to Protection

The law has an interest in protecting and promoting whistleblowers. In many cases, this is the only way that certain conduct will come to light. Some whistleblowers will even receive a financial reward for coming forward.

Whistleblowers may go to the media, or they may make reports to agencies directly. The level of protection they get is still the same. Their interest is in bringing attention to behavior that is going on that is unknown to the public or law.

Companies that take retaliatory action against whistleblowers will only make their issues worse. Not only will they still be punished for the conduct reported (if they have done something wrong), but there are special penalties for retaliating against a whistleblower. Even if the alleged conduct is not proven, a company can still get in trouble for how they treat and protect whistleblowers.

Call a Los Angeles Employment Attorney

If you are a whistleblower and a company has violated your rights under state or federal laws, you can take legal action. Call the lawyers at Martin & Bontrager at 323.940.1700 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.