When people in California do things to harm people around them, the people they harm may want to get back at them. No one likes when people do things to them, especially those they trust to keep their best interests in mind.
This is true for employers as well. There are many different laws and rules that employers need to follow, but many of them expect their employees to allow them to do what they need to do to run their business even if it breaks the law or rules.
If employees decide to turn in their employer to authorities when they break these laws, it could harm the company, and this can upset the employer. Therefore, the employer may want to retaliate against the employee that reported the violations to authorities. There are many ways they can do this as well.
Employers may fire the employee, demote them, suspend them, decrease pay, give poor, false performance reviews, verbally assault them, start holding them to a higher standard than other employees, make working conditions difficult and do other things that are designed to punish.
All of these types of whistleblower retaliation are illegal though and employers are prohibited against doing it. If they do retaliate, they may be required to compensate the employee for the retaliation. This compensation can be monetary in nature such as back pay if the employee lost income as a result of the retaliation. The compensation can also include being reinstated to their old position, location or status that they had before the retaliation.
There are many employers in California who violate the numerous laws and other regulations designed to protect the employees and the public in general. Employees are encouraged to go to authorities to report these violations. To help encourage them to do it, the employer is also prohibited from retaliating against employees.