A case brought under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act has made its way to the US Supreme Court. TSA air mrshal Robert LacLean disclosed to a newspaper that flights from Las Vegas were not properly staffed with marshalls. He was fired for alleging compromising security by making this disclosure under a provisiion of the law that allows TSA to punish employees dislcosing “sensitive security information”. The Supreme Court will have to decide if this disclosure violated the law or simply an agency policy, which would have to give way to a permitted disclsoure under the Whistleblwer Protection Act.
Many cases our firm handles for California employees include claims of reporting to governmental agencies illegal practices. Employers try to defend these wrongful terminations by stating that the employee “defamed” the company or failed to follow “required” internal reporting procedures. Our Labor Code 1102.5 prohibits discrimination and/or retaliation against anyone reporting suspected illegalities. Be sure to consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you believe your California employer has engaged in retaliation for your report. Under our state law, even an internal report to the employer of suspected illegalities is protected activity.
Many industries are governed by laws which protect the public, such as food safety laws, transportation laws including limits on driving hours; health care laws relating to patient safety, and numerous secuities laws under Sarbannes Oxley.