Whistleblowing: Employee Must Have Reasonable Cause to Believe Employer Broke the Law

July 28, 2022 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Michelle Galbraith, J.D.; HR Adviser, CalChamber

The California Labor Code prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowing employees — but sometimes what may appear to be whistleblowing isn't actually whistleblowing.

Under the law, “whistleblowing” is when an employee reports employer activity that the employee has reasonable cause to believe violates a law — and whistleblowers are protected against retaliation for disclosing this type of information. It’s important to note that this retaliation protection exists even when the employee was mistaken and the reported activity turns out to be lawful; the employee only needs reasonable cause to believe that the employer's activities are unlawful.

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