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Whistleblowers often perform vital service, need protection

Toxic waste furtively discharged into rivers and streams by a chemical company. High-level executives at a financial firm siphoning off money from good-faith investors. Engineers at an automotive company quietly burying adverse information about a product alleged to promote safety. Pharmaceutical researchers intentionally misrepresenting the results of a clinical trial prior to release of a next-generation drug.

Such information coming to the public -- compelling and vitally important to know -- seldom surfaces by chance.

Indeed, what often precedes shocking revelations about companies' bad-faith actions and their widespread detrimental effects in California and nationally are the brave and singular actions of whistleblowers who alert authorities of corporate wrongdoing. Such persons -- men and women alike who are often inside employees of a business that is acting unethically and illegally -- frequently assume outsized and even unimaginable risks in order to ensure that harmful information and practices do not continue unremedied.

Many companies violating the law understandably do not want such circumvention to ever become public knowledge. As such, they often retaliate against whistleblowers by demoting them, effecting personal transfers within the organization, challenging their veracity, harassing them in various ways and even firing them.

An employee who raises in good faith his or her concerns that an employer and/or co-workers are violating the law is accorded legal protection against retaliatory responses under both federal and state laws.

A whistleblower intent on securing and safeguarding those rights might reasonably want to contact a proven employment law attorney experienced in working with whistleblowers without delay. Whistleblowing laws are complex and often involve timing considerations and careful documentation from any person reporting corporate wrongdoing.

Whistleblowers often perform services that truly promote the public's interest. As such, they flatly deserve the requisite legal protections that help promote their ability to report business misconduct and purposeful violations of the law.