If an employee in California reports dangerous or illegal practices by an employer, that employee should be protected from retaliation under federal laws that protect whistleblowers. A man who made a report when he was concerned about his employer's disposal of asbestos at a high school in New York was fired, and the company filed a defamation lawsuit against him. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration filed a lawsuit on the man's behalf, and he was awarded around $174,000 by a jury in damages.
California workers who report their employers for violating safety rules and other laws are protected under several federal whistleblower protection statutes. These laws forbid retaliation against people for filing whistleblower complaints or for participating in investigations. If the employers retaliate against the employees for engaging in protected activities, the whistleblowers are able to file retaliation complaints against them.