When you work for a California company and that company does something illegal, unsafe or fraudulent, you have a right to call attention to the matter. You also have certain legal protections that prevent your employer from engaging in retaliation against you after you do so.
Per Whistleblowers.gov, “retaliation” refers to some type of adverse treatment or unfair reaction your employer has after you blow the whistle about wrongdoing at work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a Whistleblower Protection Program in place. If your boss retaliates against you for whistleblowing, you may be able to take legal action.
If your boss fires you or demotes you to a lower position after you blow the whistle, this may count as retaliation. The same holds true if your employer gives you a worse schedule or a lower salary or hourly rate than you had before whistleblowing. Harassing you or threatening to expose you or one of your loved ones to immigration authorities may also constitute retaliation, among other examples.
When your employer takes adverse action against you for whistleblowing, you have the option of filing a complaint with OSHA. You may need to do so within a certain timeline. Failing to meet associated deadlines may leave you with limited options. There are several ways to file a complaint with OSHA. You may do so online. You may also do so by phone, fax or in person.
Once you make your complaint, OSHA reviews it and figures out if there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation.