The California Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits acts of reprisal, retaliation, coercion, or similar acts against a state employee or an applicant for state employment who made a protected disclosure relating to an improper governmental activity. The current law prohibits an employer from making, adopting, or enforcing any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information involves a violation of a state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
SB 496 expands these provisions to protect employees that disclose information regarding the violation of a local rule or regulation. The law also prohibits employer retaliation where the employee discloses a violation of federal or state statute, or violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation to any person with authority over the employee or another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation. Previously, the law only protected disclosures to a government or law enforcement agency.