There are many different types of companies in California and each must follow various regulations. Some of these regulations are specific to certain industries and some must be followed by every type of company regardless of the industry they are in. Many of these include violating the various laws that protect certain classes of individuals. These protected classes include sex and sexual orientation, age, race, disabilities and other classes.
To help ensure that these laws are followed and that employees are not being discriminated against, employees within the company are encouraged to report these practices and participate in investigations. However, this can clearly be damaging to the company though and they may retaliate against the employees who do those things. This known as whistleblower retaliation and it is also prohibited just like the original discrimination. Employers who do retaliate may be required to compensate the employee they retaliated against.
There are different types of monetary compensation that these employees may be entitled to. There are compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include back pay for the income the person lost as a result of the retaliation as well as potentially any lost benefits as well. Punitive damages is money paid to the victim to punish the employer for the retaliation.
The amount and types of compensation depend on the law that was broken. For example if the discrimination was based on gender discrimination, the employee could be receive both types, but there are caps on the maximum amount they could receive. However, if it was for age discrimination they could receive both types with no caps.
Many employers in California may discriminate against certain classes of employees based on their biases. This is illegal and employers know it. So, if other employees report these violations, it can be detrimental to the company. Therefore, the employer may retaliate against those employees. This is also illegal and the employer may only be compounding the problem and be required to compensate the employees they retaliated against as well. These can be very complicated cases though and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through it.