The main goal of most companies in California is to make as much money as possible. Most go about this in a legal way and simply use marketing and advertising to boost sales. However, not all companies follow the legal ways of promoting a business and will resort to potentially illegal tactics to boost sales or gain an edge on the competition. When this occurs, employees within the company may be asked to participate in the illegal activity. However, these employees do not have an obligation to do this and can refuse to do so.
The company may be upset by this and retaliate against the employee. This is known as whistleblower retaliation and is illegal as well. This is what recently occurred to an employee of telecom firm, Huawei, when he refused to participate in a scheme to attempt to obtain trade secrets from competing telecom firms. The employee was asked to pose as an employee of a fake company to gain entry into a summit on Facebook to take information from the other companies.
After he refused to do this, he was laid off and asked to drop any claims against the company. This type of activity is illegal and anyone who have been the victim of retaliation may be entitled to compensation from the company. This compensation can include back pay, including pay for benefits that the employee no longer received due to the retaliation, future pay if the employee is unable to find work, and potentially other damages, depending on the facts of the case.
Employees in California are asked to do many tasks as part of their employment. Most of these requests are necessary to perform their job duties to help the company run smoothly. However, there are times when the company will ask employees to do things that are illegal. The employee can refuse and the company is prohibited from retaliating against the employee for doing so. Experienced attorneys understand employee's rights and may be able to help protect them.