People are fired, demoted, do not receive promotions and have many other negative things happen to them at work. Many times it is because their work performance is not good enough or there is another employee who is more qualified, but this is not always the case. Some employers discriminate against employees because of their race, sex, age, disability, religion and other factors that are protected and have nothing to do with job performance. If employers fire employees because of this, the employee may have a wrongful termination claim against the employer.
However, employees have other protections besides the ones that they cannot control like those listed above. Employees are also protected against retaliation from employers if they either refuse to participate in illegal activity, report illegal activity or participate in an investigation. Employers may be upset with employee for doing these things, but they cannot take negative actions against them. If the employer does retaliate against the employee, they may need to compensate the employee.
The compensation often times results from a whistleblower retaliation claim. Through these claims the employee could receive compensation for back pay, future pay and may even get their job back. However, they must act relatively quickly in order to do so. In order to have their claim heard in court, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the retaliatory action taken by the employer. If they do not file within two years, the employee may lose their opportunity to bring the claim at all.
Many companies in California violate laws and regulations in order to make a little extra money. This is illegal and employees are encouraged to report this to the appropriate authorities. To help encourage this, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees who do. However, some employers still do retaliate and if they do they may be required to compensate the employee. Experienced attorneys understand the legal requirements and may be able to guide one through the process.
Source: workplacefairness.org "Filing a Whistleblower or Retaliation Claim - California" accessed on Nov. 1, 2017