Most industries have various sets of rules they must follow. These can include safety regulations, environmental regulations, financial regulations and many others. Many times they can force the employers to take more time to complete various projects or be more costly. So, they may cut corners in order to avoid the extra time and costs associated with following the regulations. The employees of these companies may know this is going on and report it to the proper authorities or people in management within the companies.
This is what a long-time firefighter did and was retaliated against because of it. The firefighter reported that other firefighters on the dive team were destroying property that was bought with federal funds. He also said that records about the property may have been falsified as well as time records for training. The firefighter then experienced retaliation after making these complaints. He filed a lawsuit against his employer and after a trial was recently awarded $2.75 million.
There are many ways that employers can retaliate against their employees who report violations of regulations and other laws. They can demote them, exclude them from certain opportunities, fail to promote them, transfer them and simply fire them. Any of these types of retaliation are illegal and the employee may have a whistleblower retaliation claim against the employer for doing so. If the claim is successful, like the firefighter above, the employee may be entitled to compensation. The amount will vary though depending on the facts of each situation.
Most companies in California follow the law no matter how much extra time it may require or costs associated with following them. However, not every company does and employees within the company may know that the laws are not being followed. If they report these they are protected from retaliation from their employers and any retaliation may result in the employee receiving compensation. These can be complicated though and consulting with an experienced attorney may be useful.