California’s whistleblower protections

From individuals within the federal government on down to employees of local businesses, there seems to be an unending arena in which a person may want or need to come forward with information that exposes wrongdoing on the part of a company, government agency or other public office. While it is good that there are enough honest and ethical people out there, it can be hard to come forward for fear of retaliation. In California, there are laws in place designed to protect people who provide details on illegal activities.

State employees are governed by the California Whistleblower Protection Act according to the Auditor of the State of California. This legislation allows the state’s auditor to take the lead in receiving and investigating complaints from employees of the state regarding any state agency activities.

People who work for private or public entities are also protected against retaliation as explained by the California Department of Industrial Relations. The state defines a whistleblower in many ways. It may be a person who opts to not participate in an activity that would result in the violation of a state or federal law. A whistleblower may be a person who discloses to law enforcement information about wrongdoing. It may also be a person who provides testimony in any proceedings investigating or prosecuting alleged wrongdoing.

Allegations of wrongdoing by a whistleblower may involve providing the details of workplace practices or conditions that are unsafe; violations of rules or regulations set forth at the local, state or federal level; or violations of any federal or state law.