Very often, employees are fearful of reporting their employer’s illegal conduct due to the fear of retaliation or the fear of being retaliated against at work. As an employee, you have certain rights, including the right to not be discriminated against or harassed at work because of your race, sex, age, disability, religion, and other factors. You have the right to a minimum wage, to overtime pay in many circumstances if you work over a certain number of hours a week, to unpaid time off for certain health issues, and more. If you have ever been denied those rights, you may contact an attorney or choose to make a report with a federal or state agency.
As you can imagine, an employer is usually not thrilled about an employee making reports of the employer’s illegal conduct, also known as “whistleblowing.” The employer may then choose to punish the employee, or take an action that negatively affects the employee’s employment. That is illegal.
Retaliation occurs if an employer punishes an employee for engaging in what is known as a “legally protected activity.” A legally protected activity could include reporting a health and safety violation, a California Labor Code violation, reporting that the employee is being discriminated against because of their race, and more. Being fired or terminated is not the only for of retaliation; it includes any negative or “adverse employment action”, such as having salary or benefits reduced, being transferred to a less desirable position, a job or shift changed, disciplinary actions, or being demoted. By law, employers cannot punish employees for making discrimination complaints or harassment complaints. Employers also can’t retaliate if employees participate in workplace investigations, including federal, state, local or internal investigations. By law, if an employer’s adverse action would prevent a reasonable person in a situation from making a complaint, the action could be considered illegal retaliation.
If you believe that you are the victim of workplace retaliation after making a complaint, there are some steps you should take. The first step is to talk to either your supervisor or a human resources manager. This is to determine why things occurred the way they did. For example, a demotion an employee may have received might be due to years of poor work performance, as well as complaints from the employee’s coworkers. If there is no good explanation, it may be wise for the employee to report that they feel like they are being retaliated against. Although most employer will likely deny that any retaliation has occurred, most employers very likely have a “No Retaliation Policy” as part of their employee handbook. If the employer does not rectify the situation, you may have an actionable claim of workplace retaliation.
If you believe you have been retaliated against or are currently experiencing some form of retaliation after raising some complaints with your supervisor or employer, give us a call at 855-IM-FIRED for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have substantial experience with these types of cases representing individuals who have been retaliated against in the past or who are currently experiencing workplace retaliation because of issues they raised with their employer.
There are no up-front costs and you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless we get a recovery in the case.
Contact our Los Angeles California employment attorneys and lawyers now for all of your employee rights’ needs!
- Age Discrimination
- Sex/Gender Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Military Status Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Hostile Work Environment
- Whistleblower Violations
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination (LGBTQIA+)
- Race/National Origin Discrimination
- Religious Discrimination
- Family Medical Leave Act/California Family Rights Act Violations
- Failure to Pay Minimum Wages
- Unsafe Workplace
- Unpaid Wages
- Unpaid Overtime
- Meal Period And Rest Break Violations
- Misclassification as an Independent Contractor
- Wrongful Termination