Whistleblower & Retaliation

Whistleblower & Retaliation in California and Federal Law

Taxpayers Against Fraud - False Claims Acts for the Federal Government and Various States

The FCA is a powerful tool for uncovering fraud and abuse of government programs. One reason for this is the FCA's qui tam provisions, which provide a mechanism for private citizens and their attorneys to blow the whistle on private parties who defraud government programs.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 - CRA - Title VII - Equal Employment Opportunities - 42 US Code Chapter 21

Title VII is the principal federal statute with regard to employment discrimination prohibiting unlawful employment discrimination by public and private employers, labor organizations, training programs and employment agencies based on race or color, religion, sex, and national origin. Retaliation is also prohibited by Title VII against any person for opposing any practice forbidden by statute, or for making a charge, testifying, assisting, or participating in a proceeding under the statute. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 expanded the damages available to Title VII cases and granted Title VII plaintiffs the right to jury trial.

Employee Polygraph Protection - EPP - 29 U.S. Code Chapter 22

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) applies to most private employers. The law does not cover federal, state, and local governments. The EPPA prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the Act. Employers may not use or inquire about the results of a lie detector test or discharge or discriminate against an employee or job applicant on the basis of the results of a test, or for filing a complaint, or for participating in a proceeding under the Act. Subject to restrictions, the Act permits polygraph (a type of lie detector) tests to be administered to certain job applicants of security service firms (armored car, alarm, and guard) and of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers. Subject to restrictions, the Act also permits polygraph testing of certain employees of private firms who are reasonably suspected of involvement in a workplace incident (theft, embezzlement, etc.) that resulted in specific economic loss or injury to the employer. Where polygraph examinations are allowed, they are subject to strict standards for the conduct of the test, including the pretest, testing, and post-testing phases. An examiner must be licensed and bonded or have professional liability coverage. The Act strictly limits the disclosure of information obtained during a polygraph test. The EPPA provides that employees have a right to employment opportunities without being subjected to lie detector tests, unless a specific exemption applies. The Act also provides employees the right to file a lawsuit for violations of the Act. In addition, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration accepts complaints of alleged EPPA violations.