Retaliation for whistleblowing for government contractors received expanded protection effective in 2013. Employees of government contractors who act to ensure a government contractor fulfills its obligations are protected from retaliation by their employers. Government Code section 12653(a) reads:
Any employee, contractor, or agent shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make that employee, contractor, or agent whole, if that employee, contractor, or agent is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of his or her employment because of lawful acts done by the employee, contractor, agent, or associated others in furtherance of an action under this section or other efforts to stop one or more violations of this article.
This means that employers who are government contractors should take care to deal with employees who complain about issues Even if an employee did not report or threaten to report a failure of the contractor to fulfill its government actions, the revision to the law makes any “efforts to stop one ore more violations of this article” protected from retaliation. Therefore, if you were retaliated against for even complaining that the contractor’s work did not meet the government’s requirements, you may be able to bring a claim for retaliation under this code section. The relief for the claim includes double the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, special damages such as emotional harm, reinstatement and, where appropriate, punitive damages. If you believe you have a claim, we encourage you to speak to an employment law attorney as soon as possible. Many attorneys, such as this office, will provide an initial consultation free of charge to help you understand and preserve your legal rights.
Our office, always endeavoring to represent our clients vigorously, recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client against a government contractor who served Medicaid providers and members. The client complained to her employer about Medicaid providers and members not receiving the attention she believed they required. If you believe you have a similar claim in Orange County or Los Angeles, please call us for a free initial consultation.