There are many types of professions and many different companies in California. While the type of work these various professions and companies perform, one thing they do have in common is that there are laws that they must follow. The laws can be tailored to specific profession or they could be general laws that govern all different industries. When these companies break these laws they can face penalties and it can be devastating for the business.
That is why companies may not be happy with employees who either inform authorities of the violations or cooperate with investigations. However, there are protections for workers who do those types of things, which are known as whistleblower retaliation protections.
A senior administrative law judge with the California Public Utilities Commission was recently fired. She is now claiming that she was fired because of her cooperation with an investigation. This investigation was into accusations that commissioners and executives from a utility company under investigation after a gas pipeline explosion were in collusion during the investigation.
She said the firing was retaliation for this cooperation. She also had all of the people under her cooperate as well. After doing this the Commission hired an outside investigator to investigate her performance. She said there were then accusations that she was bullying and intimidating and that she would be fired. She states these accusations were false and the real reason she was fired was because of her cooperation.
There are many employees in California who want follow the law and cooperate when asked to do so. However, they may not feel like they can and still keep their jobs. In order to encourage employees to feel comfortable in reporting violations, employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who do. If they do they may be required to compensate the employee with back pay, future pay and other damages. Experienced attorneys understand employee’s rights and may be able to help protect them.
Source: www.usnews.com, “Whistleblower complaint targets California utility regulator” Sept. 19, 2017