In California, you may be protected from retaliation if you report your employer for doing something illegal. Before you blow the whistle, you should obtain legal advice. Am I Protected As a Whistle Blower in Los Angeles? Call our lawyers and find out.
You report your employer for an illegal or suspicious action that affects someone outside of your company.
You refuse to perform an illegal act.
You report your employer to a Branch of the Government.
You complain about conduct at work that amounts to a violation of Discrimination Laws such as Sexual Harassment.
You complain that your employer is committing wage violations such as overtime violations or not properly paying a wage.
Could your reporting of protected activity have caused your termination of employment? Both direct and circumstantial evidence may be used to prove causation, Colarossi v. Cory, 97 Cal.App.4th 1142, 1152, 119 Cal.Rptr.2d 131 (2002). CACI 2430 only requires that the violation of public policy was a “motivating factor.” An employer is liable for wrongful termination even if the termination was only partially motivated by an illegal reason, Balog v. LRJV, 204 Cal.App.3d 1295, 1309, 250 Cal.Rptr. 766 (1988).
Case law does not establish any hard and fast rules about how long can transpire between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. Obviously this is a fact based question. There could be a case in which a very angry manager admitted to somebody else that they were getting an employee back for protected activity occurring 18 months earlier, and the court would not be able to dismiss the case as a matter of law, due to timing, with evidence like that. California cases have allowed retaliation claims to go forward, based upon timing, when far longer periods of time have elapsed between the protected activity and the adverse employment action than is present in this case.
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