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California Labor Code Section 1102.5, Whistleblowers are protected.

San Diego, CA |

According to the Labor Code Section 1102.5, "An employer may not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights as a whistleblower in any former employment.". Currently, I highly suspected that the former employer may intentionally transfer some of case information to my existing employer. My question is that: Do I need to notify the existing employer on this matter? Thanks!

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

No, you have no duty to tell a present employer that you acted as a whistleblower while employed in another job. In fact, if your suspicions are incorrect, and your present employer is presently unaware of the prior conduct, you will be disclosing the information to the employer. If you are trying to set up some kind of situation where you want to make a LC 1102.5 claim, telling the employer about the prior conduct would allow you to prove knowledge of the conduct, but it is rarely a prudent and wise thing to try to set up a lawsuit. Lawsuits are not what they are cracked up to be, and any appearance that you are doing that would crush your credibility.

Furthermore, be careful when assuming that prior conduct is whistleblowing. Not all forms of complaining will constitute such.

If you think your present employer is engaging in, or will soon engage in, a violation of LC 1102.5, you should locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Posted

To elaborate on Mr. Pedersen's statement: "Furthermore, be careful when assuming that prior conduct is whistleblowing. Not all forms of complaining will constitute such." Whistleblowers are employees who refuse to violate the law, or who report wrongdoing that harms the public or has the potential to harm the public. The wrongdoer can be a private employer, a private entity, a federal, state or local government, or another employee. Usually, but not always, the wrongdoing benefits the person or entity that engages in the wrongdoing. Harm to the public may be caused by inflated prices, dangerous products, environmental harm, and more. Whistleblowers are protected by law. The purpose of whistleblower protection laws is to allow employees to report, stop or testify about this kind of wrongdoing, as a benefit to the public. Note that complaints about wrongdoing that only harm the employer itself are not protected by whistleblowing laws. Many whistleblower laws have a very short time period in which to file a claim. Please see my Avvo guide to whistleblowers for more information about whistleblowing: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/whistleblowers-and-their-rights?published=true.

Posted

Don't do anything relating to presumed protections of "whistle-blowers" without first getting specific legal advice from an attorney with extensive experience in w-b matters. W-b protections under the law are far more narrow and restrictive than you would believe. And if you act in reliance on mistaken belief of protection, you are at risk. Get the critical legal analysis and advice FIRST.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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Posted

I agree with my colleagues and Mr. Pedersen has provided a well reasoned and thoughtful response to your inquiry.

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