Employment Attorneys Serving Sunnyvale, California
State and federal laws protect California employees from discrimination and retaliation among many other laws. Stephen Danz and Associates attorneys are familiar with these laws and keep current to ensure they can maximize their protection of employees from abuse in the workplace and from hostile work environments. When you contact our office, one of our dedicated labor law attorneys will explain what legal options are available in your case. We devote our practice to fighting for workers’ rights. Employment law in California is a specialized area and cases are hard-fought. Therefore, having one of the largest employee-side law firms on your side is critical. If you are in Sunnyvale, California and searching for attorneys that are both experienced and aggressive, look no further and contact our office. When encountering discrimination, wrongful termination, or retaliation in the workplace, many California employees have turned to our offices for guidance.
Below, we list some of the most often violated employment and whistleblowing laws employers violate in the workplace. Call us for a clearer understanding of any of the following or to discuss your case.
What Law Protect Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
(Title 29 United States Code Section 215(a)(3))
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs the wages and hours of certain employees. It makes it unlawful to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any person for filing, instituting, or testifying in proceedings under the FLSA. The injured employee may file an action on behalf of himself or herself and any similarly situated employee in any state or federal court The right to bring such a civil action terminates if the Secretary of Labor files a complaint for minimum wages or overtime compensation or for legal or equitable relief for violation of this section. A plaintiff may seek reinstatement, promotion, back pay (and an equal additional amount as liquidated damages), and attorney’s fees and costs.
What Laws Protect California Employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act?
(Title 29 United States Code Section 2601 et seq.)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) limits an employer’s right to discharge or otherwise discriminate against employees for exercising rights under the Act.
What Whistleblowing Activities are Protected by the Federal False Claims Act?
(31 United States Code Section 3729 et seq.)
Th federal False Claims Act (FCA) prohibits, among other things, knowing presentation of a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval to the federal government. A person may bring a civil action for a violation of the FCA, for the person and for the United States Government. The FCA prohibits discharge or other discrimination against any employee, contractor, or agent (other than federal government employees) because of lawful acts done in furtherance of an action under the FCA or other efforts to stop one or more violations of the FCA. An employee seeking relief for retaliation under the FCA may pursue reinstatement with the same seniority status, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and special damages, including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. An action may be brought in the appropriate district court of the United States, within three years after the date when the retaliation occurred.
What Whistleblowing Activities are Protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act?
Under the federal government merit system principles, it is prohibited for a federal agency to take (or fail to take), or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action with respect to any covered federal government employee or applicant who makes a non-frivolous disclosure protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA). This includes any disclosure which the employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences a violation of law or regulation, or gross mismanagement, waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health.
There is an exception for disclosures “specifically prohibited by law.” The exception does not include disclosures prohibited by regulation. Further, an agency ruling or adjudication, even if erroneous, or any agency policy decision is not protected.
An employee alleging discrimination for disclosures protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act must utilize administrative remedies, but can seek judicial review of any final order or decision of the Board; under subsection (c), such review may be obtained by any employee, former employee, or applicant for employment adversely affected by such order or decision. The Ninth Circuit has adopted the Federal Circuit’s test for setting aside the Merit Systems Protection Board’s decision on the merits. It has likewise adopted the Federal Circuit’s holdings that an employee may be disciplined for the way in which he or she communicates a protected disclosure. This is the exclusive remedy for federal employees alleging retaliation for whistleblowing. When the employee presents a mixed case based on the same facts, such as a claim under Title VII as well as under the WPA, the agency’s EEO office decision on the Title VII claim is subject to review in the district court without an intervening stop at the Merit Systems Protection Board.
In addition to showing that the disclosures are protected, the employee must show that the employer took or threatened to take a personnel action as a result of the disclosures. Remedies include reinstatement with the same seniority status, back pay, and attorney fees.