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Penalties for whistleblower retaliation

In a previous post on this blog, it was explained that California employees that act as whistleblowers have certain protections. California laws protect employers that act as whistleblowers from facing retaliation in the workplace. These employment laws make it illegal for employers to terminate an employee for whistleblowing or for enacting any rules that would limit an employee's ability to act as a whistleblower.

These rules are important for California employees. They ensure that people are able to report illegal behavior and protect themselves from unsafe working environments. In addition to prohibiting or punishing whistleblowing, California laws also enact punishments on employers that refuse to abide by these rules.

Under section 1102.5(f) of the California Labor Code, when employers violate whistleblowing rules, they can be subjected to civil penalties. These include a fine of up to $10,000 for each violation of the whistleblowing rules. These employers may also be civilly liable for damages to the employee including for back pay, lost wages and more. In some cases, employers may have to give the employee the person's job back following a wrongful termination.

In addition to these civil penalties, employers that violate whistleblowing protections may be criminally charged. Under section 1103 of the Labor Code, people that violate the Labor Code sections on whistleblowing can be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, these individuals can be sentenced to $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. If corporations violate these rules, they can be issued up to a $5,000 fine.

When employees feel like violations of these labor codes have occurred, an attorney may be able to help. With the right help, people can understand their legal rights and how to enforce them.

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