Many in California may not be aware of it, but those employees (or others) who are aware of illegal activity by an employer (or others) can report it (blow the whistle) and know they will be protected from retaliation. According to this source:
“The False Claims Act is 31 U.S.C. Sections 3729 through 3733. Qui tam, under the False Claims Act, allows persons and entities with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts to sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the United States Government. In Qui tam actions, the government has the right to intervene and join the action. If the government declines, the private plaintiff may proceed on his or her own. Some states have passed similar laws concerning fraud in state government contracts.”
“Under Section 3730(h) of the False Claims Act, any employee who is discharged, demoted, harassed, or otherwise discriminated against because of lawful acts by the employee in furtherance of an action under the Act is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee whole. Such relief may include:
- Double back pay
- Compensation for any special damages including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.”
According to this source, recently a Napa State Hospital psychologist was awarded $One Million Dollars by a jury due to her actions as a whistleblower.
There is little doubt that it takes great courage to act as a whistleblower. It is normally a David and Goliath type dynamic, where one or a few individuals step forward and “speak truth to power”, wherein that “power” is normally entities with far greater resources and influence than the individuals stepping forward.
Fortunately, there are laws like the False Claims Act , along with state equivalents, and there are attorneys ready to help. If you are aware of illegal activity of the type noted above, please contact an attorney and discuss what you know.