A "whistleblower" is an employee who informs a government agency about his or her employer's violation of a local, state or federal law, rule or regulation. A person who refuses to participate in an illegal action of the employer can also be a whistleblower.
California law prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports to a governmental agency a violation that the employee in good faith believes the employee has committed. The law also protects employees who report suspected illegal behavior internally to a person with authority to investigate or externally to any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry.
A whistleblower is entitled to be reinstated to his or her former employment and to be compensated for lost wages and benefits. The Labor Code also imposes allows for a penalty against the employer of up to $10,000 per violation.