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California Whistleblower Laws

Whistleblower laws protect employees from being retaliated against after reporting that their employer has violated the law or breached the public trust. For instance, an employee who is fired after reporting that her company illegally dumps waste into the local river could file a whistleblower lawsuit against her employer. California whistleblower laws protect both public and private employees (not all states do), while instances of retaliation may also be charged as crimes.

The following table highlights the basics of California whistleblower laws. See Whistleblower Protections to learn more.

Code Section Labor §1102.5 to 1105
Prohibited Employer Activity Can not prevent or retaliate against employee for disclosing to government or law enforcement agency when employee has reasonable cause to believe there's a violation
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Both
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? -
Remedies Can recover damages for injury suffered
Penalties Misdemeanor: individual, up to 1 year in county jail and/or $1,000 fine; corporate, maximum $5,000 fine

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California employment attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Contact a qualified attorney.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)