Employee discrimination and retaliation complaints are handled by a division of the California Department of Industrial Relations. It is not necessary for you to abandon a personal legal action against an employer to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. In fact, it may be in your best interests to speak with an employment attorney before taking any action, particularly if you are seeking whistleblower protection.
In California, whistleblowers are protected from a variety of employer actions. What exactly is a whistleblower? According to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, a whistleblower is someone who discloses information to law enforcement or a government agency about noncompliance or a violation of federal or state statutes or federal, state or local rules or regulations. In addition, a whistleblower may disclose information about unsafe conditions or practices at work.
Los Angeles independent contractors are self-employed. Benefits regular employees receive, like health insurance and workers' compensation, aren't available through employers for contractors, who are supposed to control when and how they work. Some employers try to save money by treating contract workers like regular employees, without providing contractors with the same benefits.