If you lost your job in California because you filed a report highlighting safety concerns, you have a right to file a wrongful termination claim. The government has laws in place that protect whistleblowers and concerned employees, and there are major penalties for companies that violate these laws.
According to USA.gov, employees have a number of legal rights in the workplace. Employers must train you in the area you work and in understandable language, and they must provide you with equipment that meets safety standards. Employees have the right to report any work condition that seems unsafe and to report work-related illnesses and injuries without retribution.
If you have a complaint, you should file it with the appropriate department. For most industries, report the incident to OSHA. For safety issues in the mining industry, report to the Mine Safety and Health Administration; if you work in the aviation industry, you should report to the Federal Aviation Administration; and for unsafe commercial trucking conditions on the road, contact the Department of Transportation.
If you lose your job due to reporting to any of the regulatory agencies, you can file another complaint for wrongful termination. This is also a good time to hire an attorney to make sure you get the rightful outcome.
The US Department of Labor discusses some of the penalties employers may face if they violate federal laws regarding employee rights. Depending on the violation, monetary penalties can range from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The employee may also receive back pay and other compensation.