First, ask yourself what you hope to accomplish by going to the police with the videotapes. If your goal is to have the manager arrested for illegal drug use, by all means, nothing is stopping you. The manager may face charges or may not, depending on how the District Attorney's office views the reliability of the evidence.
The employer is not required to fire the manager. He may take him back. He may also be very angry with you for having reported the incident. It would be illegal to fire you for reporting a crime, but that may not guarantee he won't do it anyway. How important is the job to you?
Think very carefully about what your objective is and whether going to the police is the way to accomplish it. If you wish to know what your rights and obligations are, under the law, consult with an employment law attorney in your area.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
Mr. Kirschbaum's response is very wise. The main question that jumped out to me was what your motivation would be for getting involved here? The company owners have been informed and they have taken action. Are you simply feeling their manner of handling the matter was unfair. Unfortunately, the employer is allowed to act unfairly in your presence.
You have no legal duty to do anything further. Anything you do now may be the basis for retaliation which may or may not be unlawful for the employer to do, based on what they are retaliating about.
Good luck to you.
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I agree with Mr. Kirschbaum. I write only to point out that it is odd that the manager got a warning while the employee was fired. If they are of different sexes, it strikes me that there may be some sex discrimination going on here.
That, of course, doesn't help you at all, because any discrimination was against the other employee, not you. What you need to know is that it would be illegal to fire you for complaining about such sex discrimination. You wrote that there is more to the story; you're wise for not discussing it in detail, since your employer may read this website and could identify you from any such details. If you wind up being retaliated against, seek out a plaintiff's side employment lawyer. I think both Mr. Pedersen and Mr. Kirschbaum are in your area, and they're both excellent.
Craig T. Byrnes
Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.
You have sound practical advice already.
I offer one more cautionary note: Beware of using the threat of "blowing the whistle" or calling the police in an attempt to extract money from the manager or the company. You do not want to be the target of a criminal investigation for extortion.
David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.