Are you filing an employment case in California and have questions? Read these tips for filing a whistleblowing claim, then call our attorneys.
Filing a Whistleblower Claim
If you believe that you’ve been subjected to unlawful retaliation for blowing the whistle, it’s important for you to talk to an attorney in a timely manner. The statutes have time limits as to when you can bring the claims, and also require you to go to governmental agencies and do what we call exhaust administrative remedies. As you go through that process, I do think it’s important that you have the advice of counsel to make sure what you’re putting in those documents is unlawful conduct.
Not all conduct that you engage in is protected. Employees have to show that they were retaliated against for complaining about unlawful conduct or refusing to go along with what’s called an unlawful scheme.
Importance of an Attorney
In California, there are various laws that protect whistleblowers. Some of the laws are very unique and cover specific conduct or specific employers. You might have a law that protects only hospital workers or people sitting in an education setting, or you might have a law that protects all employees in the state of California. Then you have laws that cover specific conduct only.
California has a lot of protection for employees. In order to assist you in identifying even what claims to bring, it’s important that you identify the conduct that you complained about, who you complained about it to, and what type of employer you have. In order to do that, I would encourage you to talk to an attorney that has expertise in labor and employment. It’s important that you find an attorney who has litigated whistleblower cases and has tried whistleblower cases. It’s one thing to file a claim under a whistleblower, and it’s another to also litigate it, but it’s completely different to actually try a whistleblower lawsuit. Whistleblower litigation in California has unique jury instructions, and it’s important for the attorneys to be aware of that throughout the entire litigation.
Statute of Limitations
There’s various statutes that protect California employees under California law for blowing the whistle. The two main ones are Labor Code §1102.5 and another claim under Labor Code §6310. Both of those claims have statutes of limitations. Depending on the type of remedies that you’re seeking, those claims will run from either one year to three years.
I say it’s extremely important that if you believe you’ve been subjected to retaliation, you take steps to make sure that your claims are preserved. One way of doing that is making a timely claim within the statute of limitations, which one should always assume is well within a year. It’s also important to find an attorney to take steps to inform the employer that there may be a potential claim and not to destroy the evidence. It’s important to find a firm that will send a letter early to the employer, well before the lawsuit is ever filed, to say, “Listen, we represent this employee. These are the types of claims that we may bring. We’re making a demand that evidence is preserved, including emails, video, paper, all types of evidence,” to make sure that once you finally start to litigate the case, all the evidence will be there.
While the statute of limitations might be longer than a year, or they might be a year depending on the statute, it’s important that, if you’ve been subjected to unlawful conduct, you act quickly to make sure that the evidence is there and preserved for when the lawsuit is ultimately filed.
Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions about the tips for filing a whistleblowing claim? Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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