Whistleblower Lawsuits and Cases
Whistleblowing lawsuits and other cases of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination face many challenges in the recent business climate. Often, employers, usually large employers and large corporations, employ arbitration clauses which require an employee to pursue arbitrations instead of lawsuits. Our firm never recommends arbitrations, because they are far more expensive and the arbitration system is skewed towards employers. In this regard, plaintiffs pay one filing fee (between $370 and $1,000) for the complaint, and $60 for each motion heard. The fees are the same even if the court hears and decides ten motions or tries the case for four weeks (other than jury fees). But in private arbitration, the arbitrator is paid by the hour, so an hour hearing costs an hour of fees, usually at least $450/hour.
In regards to whistleblower lawsuits, California has some protections for those forced to arbitrate their claims. For example, an employer has to pay the costs of the arbitrator in employment disputes, otherwise the arbitration agreement or arbitration clause in an employment agreement can be deemed unenforceable. However, the conservative US Supreme Court has validated the mandatory arbitration of claims and so many of these claims must go to private arbitration. It is also the firm’s experience that since the arbitrator is a human being, and humans tend to be more favorable to the person paying them (often repeatedly over many arbitrations), bias has the potential to skew the results.
Our firm has successfully had multiple arbitration agreements or clauses deemed unenforceable, but the fact is that an employer with a careful arbitration clause or agreement can usually force the client into a private arbitration.
Regarding whistleblowing lawsuits, employees have the right to file a whistleblower complaint if they reasonably believe their employer retaliated against you for exercising your rights as an employee under the whistleblower protection laws. Some of these laws relate to whether the workplace is unsafe, i.e., where the employee is in danger of injury because of work or equipment conditions. Certain whistleblower protection laws exist under Cal-OSHA, the workplace safety agency.
Other whistleblower protections exist where the employee exposes illegal or fraudulent activity and is then made the subject of retaliation for doing so. Also, an employee may expose a demand or instruction of the employee to engage in illegal or fraudulent activities, and may be retaliated against for refusing to engage in such activities.
In whistleblower lawsuits, significant challenges to whistleblower and retaliation complaints include making a timely claim. If against a public entity or government employer, there may be administrative claims that must be made before you are permitted to file a lawsuit. In some cases, we have been able to work around such time limits by bringing a common law claim (based on historical cases enforced in appellate or supreme courts) as opposed to bringing a statutory claim (based solely on a whistleblower statute).
The complaint has to be made public, by making a complaint to an agency or government entity regulating the activity. In most cases whistleblowing to a supervisor is insufficient to establish such a claim. We have recovered significant sums for our clients, often involving rigorous investigations by our firm.
If you have a case and possible lawsuit similar to these, contact Ken Ralidis at 213.251.5480 today to see how he can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have often obtained results for our clients that are 10-25 times what the initial offer was. Don’t just settle for any attorney that may not have the experience, or a big law firm that doesn’t have the time or resources for a case like yours. Reach out to Ken Ralidis for his experience and the personal attention he offers. We can help you win your case!