Employees often feel as though they must look the other way when they observe fraudulent activities, unsafe practices, or other unlawful and unethical practices in the workplace. However, you should be aware that not only is whistleblowing protected under the law, whistleblowers stand to enjoy financial damages as a result of a successful investigation. If you suspect your employer is engaging in unlawful activities, you can consult an employment lawyer serving San Jose for more information about whistleblowing. Your labor attorney can explain OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.
It ensures that your employer cannot legally take retaliatory actions against you, such as firing, blacklisting, disciplining, or demoting you. Failure to hire or rehire, adverse reassignment, pay or hour reduction, denial of benefits, threats, and intimidation are also unlawful activities under these statutes. If you believe your employer has taken retaliatory action, your San Jose employment lawyer can help you file a complaint.
In an ideal world, all companies and other organizations would conduct business while upholding the strictest standards of ethics and obeying the letter of the law. Unfortunately, private businesses and even government agencies sometimes stray from this path. Sometimes, it may take a whistleblower to uncover the truth and correct any wrongs. Whistleblowing in San Jose and throughout the country tends to have a negative connotation. However, experts on employment law have found that most whistleblowers are actually dedicated workers, not disgruntled employees interested only in personal gain.
1. To Bring Positive Change in the Company
The typical whistleblower is an individual who is keenly interested in the success of the company. He or she works hard to contribute to the business and sees him-or herself as having a personal stake in the company’s future. When that individual uncovers misdoings by a co-worker, supervisor, or an entire department, he or she may choose to expose these problems in an attempt to improve the company.
2. To Protect the Public
Another reason why a person might become a whistleblower is to protect consumers and the public in general. Often, the misdeeds of businesses and organizations lead to some sort of risk for consumers. For example, a whistleblower might work for a medical device manufacturing company that has designed a new metal-on-metal hip implant. The person might uncover clinical evidence that this particular design has a high rate of early failure and can significantly increase the risk of heavy metal toxicity in patients. However, this individual realized that this clinical evidence was never shown to the FDA or to the public. The person might decide to become a whistleblower because he or she is concerned for the welfare of patients who use that particular hip implant.
3. To Obtain Compensation
One of the perks of being a whistleblower is that if any monetary damages are recovered as a result, the whistleblower is entitled to a portion of them. This may be one reason why whistleblowers have such a poor reputation. However, it’s worth noting that most whistleblowers first report problems to a supervisor or other person at their company. Then, if a cover-up is attempted or the problem is otherwise left unfixed, the person might turn to a labor law attorney for help. CA labor code section 1102.5 prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. This may afford protection to those who do come forward.
Whistleblowers have been in the news lately, and though they may seem far removed from you and your job, you too could become a whistleblower. If you suspect fraud, discrimination, safety violations, or other illegal activities in your workplace, you’ll have to decide if you want to bring these wrongdoings to light. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation by the law, but it’s still wise to hire an employment attorney located in San Jose once you choose to blow the whistle. You may have a number of different reasons to be a whistleblower. Some people choose to do so because of a suspicion of fraud or because the wrongful activities are dangerous to employees, shareholders, or the general public. Whistleblowing can also come with a financial reward, which motivates some people to speak up. Explore this infographic to learn more about a few of the most common reasons for whistleblowing. Please share with your friends and colleagues.