Many employers engage in conduct that violates the law, and they are not supposed to retaliate against you for speaking up or opposing this kind of unlawful activity. "Retaliation" may come in the form of termination, demotion, suspension, other discipline, threats, harassment, or discrimination.
SEC Gives $600,000 to Whistleblower in Retaliation Case
California employees may be interested in news about the largest judgment yet under the whistleblower protection provisions of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This case involves an ex-employee of Playboy Enterprises who was fired in retaliation for exposing fraudulent bonuses.
A nuclear power reservation manager, who had reported dangerous conditions at the facility, was fired in February for reasons that her employer claims are unrelated to her safety complaints. The woman had been reporting violations that she suspected were occurring at the plant. She is believed to be the second whistleblower to be fired at the company in less than half a year, which may send the wrong message to California workers who wish to report safety concerns.
California may have heard of the lawsuit brought by two missile inspectors after they claimed they were fired for telling the truth about a dangerously flawed piece of hardware. The alleged wrongful termination was said to have taken place after the men saw a missile with tin parts that could create short circuits and endanger Navy pilots in flight. The suit claimed that, beginning in 2012, each was pressured to sign off on the missiles even though they saw problems and refused, which resulted in their being fired.
A former British Petroleum executive based in California has filed suit against the oil giant, claiming that she was fired following a series of insensitive and racist remarks made by colleagues. The former chief financial officer said that her wrongful termination after almost a decade with BP was due to her engaging in African-American personal style expressions such as braiding her hair and wearing African-influenced blouses. She maintained in the lawsuit that she was told she could wear such hairstyles and clothing only during the company's Culture Day or during Black History Month, among other race-based commentary.
Yet another Kaiser Permanente Hospital has come under fire for its employment practices. As we reported in a recent blog post, the health care consortium was named as a defendant in 46 employment-related lawsuits in 2012. Now, a nurse has made a claim of wrongful termination against a Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Francisco, alleging she was fired after she exposed the hospital's unsafe patient care practices.The nurse, who had been employed as an assistant nurse manager at the hospital since 2005, said she was discharged in 2010 for reporting violations of patient care regulations and other incidents impacting patient safety. The alleged violations included improper patient transfers, errors in dispensing medication and over-admitting patients in violation of a nurse-to-patient ratio requirement. The nurse claims that after she reported her concerns, the hospital retaliated against her.