There are many different rules and laws in California that govern many different situations in life. People are also constantly trying to circumvent them or break them to make life easier. This is no different in the workplace. Companies have to follow many different rules and regulations depending on the type of industry they work in and following them can require extra costs. So, in order to make more money or save money, many times companies try to circumvent these rules or outright break them.
According to a recent survey, fewer companies are doing this though. In 2017, 47% percent of the employees surveyed reported witnessing misconduct which was down from four years earlier when 51% reported witnessing misconduct. This misconduct could be a number of different things such as lying to stakeholders, accepting bribes, misusing confidential information, sexual harassment and others.
The survey also found that more employees were reporting this misconduct as well. Unfortunately though more employers were retaliating against these employees. The survey found that the number of cases of retaliation doubled in 2017. Often times the retaliation was done quickly as well within the first three weeks of reporting misconduct.
This whistleblower retaliation is illegal and while it can create difficulties for the employee in the immediate aftermath, they may also be entitled to compensation as well. The company may be required to compensate the employee for any back pay, loss of benefits and potentially future pay as well. In addition to the monetary compensation, the company may also be required to reinstate the employee to their former position.
This recent survey highlights that many employers in California retaliate against employees who report misconduct by the company. These actions are illegal though and the effected employees may be entitled to a number of different remedies including monetary compensation for a number of potential losses. Proving these cases is not always very easy though and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through it.
Source: www.cfo.com, “More whistleblowing, but also more retaliation” Vincent Ryan, March 19, 2018