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Whistleblowers in Bay Area protected by law

A public safety worker with a public school district in another state recently claimed that he was retaliated against in the workplace for speaking up about corruption in his department. He has therefore filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the organization. Whistleblowers in the Bay Area have the right to seek justice if demoted, terminated or otherwise retaliated against after reporting wrongdoing in their companies.

In the recent out-of-state case, the worker claimed that not only was corruption occurring in his public safety department but so was sexual misconduct that involved students -- specifically, a student was reportedly sexually assaulted. He ended up being recommended for firing after allegedly reporting this. The man, who has been with the organization since 2014, is currently on paid leave.

The man said he was recognized as Officer of the Year during the school years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. However, his work atmosphere changed after he decided to report the misconduct he had allegedly witnessed. As part of the lawsuit, the man has asked to return to his position. He is also seeking damages as well as court costs.

Employees in the Bay Area have the right to be protected as whistleblowers if they, in good faith, believe that their companies disobeyed the law or behaved unethically and they report their companies' behavior either internally or externally. Every whistleblower case is different, and tackling it an effective way can be complicated. However, an applied understanding of the law related to whistleblowers might improve one's chances of winning this type of case in California.

Source: myajc.com, "Lawsuit claims wrong-doing in DeKalb", Marlon A. Walker, Nov. 1, 2017

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