Report Unsafe Conditions

If the situation is an immediate safety threat, please call 911.

If you are a whistleblower, you can report unsafe conditions — confidentially, if you prefer — to us in the following ways:

All others can report unsafe conditions to us in the following ways:

  • Call the whistleblower hotline at 1-800-649-7570

  • E-mail to safetyhotline.cpuc.ca.gov

Who is a “Whistleblower”?

A whistleblower who can be assisted by us is an employee, contractor, or subcontractor of a company regulated by us who reports their employer’s suspected unsafe, unlawful, or dishonest activity. Whistleblowers may report their claims internally to their company’s upper management or to the company’s ethics officer or externally to regulators responsible for regulating the company. A whistleblower’s inside knowledge of the suspected unlawful or dishonest activity may help us discover something we would otherwise not know. Whistleblowers can play a valuable role in helping us get needed evidence to support the claim.

What is the role of the Public Utilities Commission?

We regulate privately owned electric, natural gas, phone, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. We serve the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring that utility services and infrastructure are safe, reliable, and available at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental improvement and a healthy California economy. We make sure regulated companies follow the California Public Utilities Code, regulations, and other California laws involving safety and consumer protection. Our investigations include safety issues, misrepresentations or dishonesty, consumer fraud and marketing abuses, and tax or rule violations.

Can a Whistleblower keep his or her identity confidential or anonymous?

Yes. If you are a whistleblower and ask to remain anonymous, we will keep your identity private. We may need to get your contact information for follow-up questions. We may need to know your identity if you can provide documentation about the suspected unlawful activity you are reporting. We also may have difficulty continuing with the investigation if the first information you gave us is not enough for us to do a deeper investigation and you have chosen not to provide your contact information.

We do not have final control over whether your identity is revealed. A Commission action or a court of law could decide that, in a particular situation, showing your identity would be in the public interest.

Are Whistleblowers protected by the law?

Yes. California Labor Code Section 1102.5(b) protects you from retaliation by your employer if you have reasonable cause to believe that the information reveals a violation of or noncompliance with state or federal statute, rule, or regulation.

Government Code Section 12653 reads, in part, “No employer shall discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, deny promotion to, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee because of lawful acts in disclosing information to a government agency.”

We support these protections and expect the companies we regulate to obey the law. Although these laws are intended to protect you, you may still face the risk of retaliation. You may have to dedicate your personal time and money to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit for retaliation.

As a potential whistleblower, you should determine if your employer has set up internal procedures to handle whistleblower claims. If so, you should review these procedures to figure out how to proceed.

You are not protected from retaliation if you break the confidentiality of the lawyer-client privilege. (Labor Code section 1102.5(g)). So, you should not reveal any privileged information. Also, California law does not protect disclosures made by private-sector whistleblowers that reveal a trade secret. Whistleblower laws generally do not protect you when your claims involve personal matters rather than public concern.

Whom should a Whistleblower contact?

You can contact us by phone, email, or reporting online. You can use any one of the following contacts, depending on what you are reporting. Please be ready to give enough information to support your claims of supposed improper or unlawful behavior. If this information is not given to us, we will not be able to help you in your case.

If the situation poses an immediate safety threat, please call 911!

Unsafe Conditions:

Phone: 1-800-649-7570

On-Line: https://ia.cpuc.ca.gov/whblow 

Fraud (deceptive practices causing financial or other losses to consumers)

Phone: 1-800-649-7570

E-Mail: fraudhotline@cpuc.ca.gov

Billing, Service, and Other Complaints

Phone: 1-800-649-7570

On-Line: https://appsssl.cpuc.ca.gov/cpucapplication 

What happens when a Whistleblower phones the Public Utilities Commission?

When you call us at 1-800-649-7570, you will hear a recording that directs you through a series of options. Depending on what number you press, you can get routed to a Safety Hotline, a Fraud Hotline, or other connections if you have an issue that is neither fraud- nor safety-related. 

Consumer Affairs Branch

E-Mail
consumer-affairs@cpuc.ca.gov 

Telephone
Main: 1-800-649-7570
Fax: 1-415-703-1158
Monday-Friday, 8.30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.  

Mailing Address
California Public Utilities Commission
Consumer Affairs Branch
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102