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Whistleblowers deserve to be protected from backlash

Last week's blog post discussed how some people who were working for the Veterans' Affairs office shed light on how some paperwork was swept under the rug for years. If you recall from that blog post, one person was reassigned when she spoke up against the problem she saw in the office. That reassignment might be construed as retaliation because she opted to blow the whistle on the problem.

Whistleblowers are usually people who can't stand to see issues, misconduct and safety issues at work. These brave people opt to speak up about those problems even if means they might face backlash from it. Here's the thing: whistleblowers have protection from retaliatory measures that employers might take.

We know how difficult it is for whistleblowers to speak up. We want you to know that you don't have to choose between standing up for what is right and losing your job. You don't have to live in fear because you reported misconduct, cooperated with an investigation against a company or acted as a witness.

If you spoke up against the things that were illegal, against safety protocols or just plain wrong and were retaliated against, you can take legal action. Some examples of retaliation include demotions, firing, making a work environment hostile, cutting pay, changing hours to some that are less desirable and changing a job location to a less desirable one. If any of those are true in your case, you can stand up for yourself and assert your rights under the whistleblower protection laws provided under the federal law and California law.

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