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Sacramento Whistleblower Retaliation Lawyer

In the United States, we pride ourselves as living under the rule of law, which applies to individuals, businesses, and government entities. As an employee, you may find that you are working for a company that is violating the law and posing a harm to others — its own employees or other members of society. You may feel that you are between the proverbial rock and a hard place: you need the job to support yourself and your family, but your personal ethics will not allow you to participate in activities that are illegal or harmful to others. You may fear retaliation if you become a whistleblower to expose the wrongdoing, but keeping quiet is eating away at your conscience. What can you do?

Whistleblowing

Fortunately, state and federal laws exist to protect employees who feel morally compelled to expose wrongdoing by their employer, for example tax fraud, safety or environmental violations. In California, it is illegal for a company to retaliate against an employee who blows the whistle on an illegal act by their employer. If you have experienced retaliation or wrongful termination after exposing your employer for wrongdoing, you should consult an employment attorney promptly.

Qui Tam Law Suits

If the U.S. Government is a victim of the illegal act, in addition to being protected from termination or other form of retaliation, you may receive a substantial monetary award based on the amount government’s recovery in a law suit against your employer.

If you have become aware of wrongdoing by your employer, before you take any action, discuss the possibility of a qui tam lawsuit with your  attorney. Qui tam is an abbreviation of a Latin phrase which translates to English as “he who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.”

In qui tam lawsuit, private party, called a relator, brings a legal action on the government’s behalf. The government is the actual plaintiff in the suit. If the government wins the case, the relator receives a percentage of the award.

In 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recovered $3.8 billion dollars through qui tam law suits.

Other Cases of Employer Retaliation

You may have experienced retaliation in the workplace for a reason that would not qualify for a federal qui tam case, for example, if you were denied and expected promotion after taking family leave under the California Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Retaliation for exercising a legal right is always illegal, and you have recourse. You can recover both economic and non-economic losses, and possibly punitive damages, depending on the circumstances. Your California labor attorney is the best source of information and advice in these matters.

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Sacramento Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney