California Whistleblower Protection Laws state it is unlawful for an employer to make or enforce a rule or policy or to retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency if the employee reasonably believes the information involves a violation of state or federal law. Claims must be reported to the State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement within 90 days of the alleged retaliatory act.
The Office of Internal Affairs reviews and processes retaliation complaints. Complaints can come in from a variety of sources, including victims of retaliation, the hiring authority or other outside State agencies.
To meet the legal requirements to establish retaliation, the Office of Internal Affairs must ensure the complainant (1) has made a protected disclosure or participated in a protected activity (2) was thereafter subjected to an adverse employment action; and (3) establish a causal link exists between the protected disclosure/protected activity and the employer’s action.
California Whistleblower Protection Act
The California Whistleblower Protection Act Government Code Section 8547 states Employees should be free to report waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or threat to the public without fear of retribution. The California Legislature further finds and declares that public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people’s business.
The Office of Internal Affairs will review the retaliation complaint to determine if a “prima facie” case of retaliation can be established. The Office of Internal Affairs reviews the retaliation complaint to determine if the elements of retaliation exist. If necessary, the Office of Internal Affairs conducts an interview of the complainant so that facts can be clarified and additional questions answered. Upon completion of the review, a retaliation analysis is prepared with a recommendation to the Central Intake Unit, to either open as an Internal Affairs investigation, close with no further action, or refer to the Hiring Authority.