Q: Can an employer retaliate for an employees unwillingness to participate in inflating numbers for contract reporting
I work for a non profit and we have contracts with various local government agencies. We are to provide services to callers who request legal information. I expressed a serious concern that cases were being duplicated in our reporting. After pulling data, the numbers are in the hundreds - effectively taking money from the contract while being dishonest about the services provided. I expressed my concern in November. Ever since, I have been retaliated against. When I am off, my calls are not transferred, and I have backlogs. I submitted reports and our Ops Mgr deleted them saying I needed to clean my data. Other case managers have the data in the same format and have not been made to update, clean up or otherwise revise. I have now been suspended due to the fact I have a second job. Multiple others in the org have other jobs. I am being singled out and treated very differently than others. I've pulled the data and done the research and have the information catalogued that verifies.
It sounds like you may be a victim of whistleblower retaliation under Labor Code 1102.5 based on reporting fraud.
You should seek a confidential consultation with an employment lawyer. Most provide free consultations.
If you have complained to the company about the company defrauding the government, and you have been retaliated against for doing so, then you likely have a meritorious legal claim for unlawful retaliation. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
A: By definition, a whistleblower is someone who exposes illegal or unethical activity in an organization or business. Federal whistleblower law protects employees who report acts of wrongdoing on the part of their employer. To prove retaliation for whistleblowing in court, you must show evidence that you were punished in the workplace or fired because of your complaint. Consult with an experienced employment attorney with experience in whistleblower law to discuss the evidence in your case and your legal options.
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A: No, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for refusing to engage in fraudulent or illegal activities, such as inflating numbers for contract reporting. Retaliation for whistleblowing is protected under both state and federal laws, including the California Whistleblower Protection Act. You may have legal grounds to file a complaint or lawsuit against your employer for retaliation. It is recommended that you speak with an employment lawyer to understand your options and rights in this situation.
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