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Is the DFEH for whistleblowing employees who are wrongfully terminated?

San Jose, CA |

Does the DFEH investigate allegations about retaliation for complaining about unlawful activity at a business? I know they do with race and gender discrimination.

Is it common for employers to terminate employees who want to change the company and make it comply with the law?

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Attorney answers 1


The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing investigates claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin (including language use restrictions), ancestry, mental or physical disability including HIV and AIDS, medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics), age (40 and above), requests for family leave, requests for pregnancy disability leave, and retaliation for reporting patient abuse in tax-supported institutions.

The only kind of whistleblowing DFEH investigates is a report of discrimination, harassment or retaliation in one of the above areas.

Whistleblowing may relate to many different laws and a wide variety of violations. For more information about whistleblowers and their rights, please see my Avvo guide:

Yes, unfortunately some employers will retaliate against an employee who wants to motivate the employer to comply with the law. It is for this reason that the federal and state legislatures enacted whistleblower protection laws.

*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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