An employee may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit if they are fired for complaining about their employer’s illegal conduct. California whistleblower laws offer employees protection from retaliation when they participate in “legally protected activities” such as:
- Complaining about discrimination or sexual harassment
- Exercising their rights under wage and overtime laws
- Participating in investigations
- Protesting unsafe working conditions
- Reporting illegal conduct by the employer or its managers
The employee may have complained directly to the employer, its supervisors or human resources personnel, or government authorities such as the police or a regulatory agency. The employee does not have to be directly affected by the employer’s illegal activity. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting a claim about their illegal conduct even if the employee turns out to be wrong, so long as they acted in good faith.
If you plan on blowing the whistle on illegal activities at your place of employment, it is best to explore all your legal options before acting.