Most people who are employed in California are honest and want to do the right thing for themselves and for the companies that they work for. However, there can be people who engage in either fraudulent or otherwise illegal or unsafe activities in job situations. Whether acting alone or as part of a larger group, these people may well put others in uncomfortable situations. If one person becomes aware of behaviors, environments or situtions that violate statutes or other regulations, they may choose to report the information to authorities. This is commonly referred to as whistleblowing.
The California Department of Industrial Relations explains that the state considers any person who shares information about a potential violation of safety regulations or state or federal legislation to be a whistleblower. A person who consciously makes the choice to not participate in activities that would contribute to such violations is also considered to be a whistleblower. People who fall under this designation are legally provided protections in the state of California.
The protections provided to whistleblowers include provisions that prevent employers from retaliating. Retaliation may take many forms but an employer found guilty of this may well end up being liable for lost wages or benefits incurred by the whistleblowing employee as a result of the retaliation.
Reports concerning private companies can be made to the state Attorney General’s office. The California State Auditor accepts filings of complaints related to state entities or individual employees of the state. These reports may be made by state employees or members of the general public.