California Whistleblower Protection

California whistleblower protection laws

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.

Employer Use of Social Media

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.

The Employer Use of Social Media enacted September 27, 2012, prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a user name or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media to access personal social media in the presence of the employer, or to divulge any personal social media. Prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, threatening to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliating against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand by a violating employer.

Helmer Friedman LLP helping you navigate through the state and federal whistleblower programs that may reward you for reporting fraud.