“Whistleblowing” occurs when a company employee reports violations of law, safety violations, or refuses to violate a law. When an employee blows the whistle, an employer is prohibited from retaliating against the employee. Unfortunately, employers often ignore these laws. California has various laws to punish employers who behave this way. If you believe you blew the whistle and your employer is retaliating against you, call our Orange County whistleblower lawyer for a free consultation. Visit our homepage here.
Three Main Types of Whistleblowers
- Medical & Healthcare – Reporting Unsafe Patient Care & Conditions
- Reporting a Violation of Law or Refusing to Violate the Law
- Reporting Government Fraud – Qui Tam Actions
Whistleblower Lawyer for Medical Staff Regarding Patient Safety
California has passed some special whistleblower laws for medical professionals. It is the public policy of California to encourage patients, nurses, doctors, and other health care workers to notify government entities of suspected unsafe patient care and conditions. California wants to protect patients and assist those accreditation and government entities charged with ensuring that health care is safe. Lawyers and attorneys across California are starting to realize how powerful this law can be.
Medical employees, nurses, doctors, and medical staff who work at hospitals and health care centers frequently witness poor patient treatment at the hands of other medical staff, administrators, doctors, and medical institutions. Health & Safety Code 1278.5 was enacted to protect such health care workers. This law states :
No health facility shall discriminate or retaliate, in any manner, against any patient, employee, member of the medical staff, or any other health care worker of the health facility because that person has done either of the following:
(A) Presented a grievance, complaint, or report to the facility, to an entity or agency responsible for accrediting or evaluating the facility, or the medical staff of the facility, or to any other governmental entity.
(B) Has initiated, participated, or cooperated in an investigation or administrative proceeding related to, the quality of care, services, or conditions at the facility that is carried out by an entity or agency responsible for accrediting or evaluating the facility or its medical staff, or governmental entity.
There are many hospitals in California. If you have reported unsafe patient conditions or care, and believe that your employer has retaliated against you, call our office immediately for a free consultation. Our whistleblower lawyer will treat your issue with the care and confidentiality it deserves.
Reporting a Violation of Law or Refusing to Violate the Law
According to California Labor Code § 1102.5, an employer may not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal law, rule, or regulation. Nor may an employer retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
Here are some examples:
- Falsification of loan documents, invoices, or other financial instruments
- Tax fraud
- Workplace safety
This law applies to just about any employer in California. If your employer asks you to commit an act that you believe to be illegal, and you refuse to perform such act, and as a result you get fired, demoted, or otherwise harmed, you may have a valid case in court. Call an experienced whistleblower lawyer for a free consultation.
Government Whistleblower Laws – Financial Abuse or Fraud
People with first-hand knowledge who report fraud or corruption in government contracts or purchasing activities may be entitled to a portion of any money recovered. This is commonly known as a Qui Tam action – which is a fancy name for utilizing the federal False Claims Act and related state laws. Qui tam lawsuits are a type of civil lawsuit that has become a powerful way for whistleblowers to help the government stop many kinds of fraud – Medicare and Medicaid fraud, defense contractor fraud and numerous other types of frauds that impact the government financially – and recover billions that have been stolen from the U.S. Treasury and taxpayers.
At the same time, qui tam lawsuits allow whistleblowers to get rewarded for the professional and personal risks they take to expose and stop fraud against the government – fraud that can endanger the lives of patients, U.S. soldiers and others.
If you believe you are being retaliated against for informing the government of unlawful acts by your employer, contact our whistleblower attorney for a free consultation. Whistleblower lawyers are not created equal. You need a labor attorney with experience and grit to achieve a substantial outcome.
Final Thoughts & Information
The law doesn’t just protect whistleblowers – it also protects perceived or suspected whistleblowers. If you need to speak with someone who knows the ins and outs of CA’s employment law, contact our employment lawyer for a no-obligation consultation. There is no risk so make the call.