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Workplace Retaliation

Understanding Your Rights Against Wrongful Termination in California

The fear of employer retribution is one of the main reasons why various harassment issues or other complaints go unreported. However, under California, Nevada, and Federal employment laws, an employer may not engage in workplace retaliation against an employee for reporting unlawful conduct, refusing to do things that are unlawful, reporting or resisting harassment, or reporting or resisting discrimination. In addition, the law enables you to take legal action if you have been wrongfully terminated, demoted, or experienced any other adverse actions.

Workplace Retaliation

Under California, Nevada, and Federal law, workplace retaliation is when your employer takes adverse action against you or discriminates against you because you took part in a protected activity and/or failed to do something that the employer requested, knowing that it was unlawful. Since most employers understand that it is unlawful to retaliate against employees by firing them, they may decide to retaliate in other ways.

Examples of these retaliatory actions include:

  • Assigning certain employees the least desirable shifts
  • Excluding employees from important meetings they previously used to attend
  • Unreasonably increasing an employee’s workload, making it impossible for them to meet deadlines
  • Subjecting employees to disciplinary action over false claims
  • Denying employees training and resources to advance their careers
  • Transferring employees to work far away from their friends and family
  • Denying employees a chance at promotion even if they qualify
  • Decreasing pay without explanation or reason

Workplace Retaliation Laws

California, Nevada, and Federal employment laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who have engaged in certain protected activities. These activities include but are not limited to:

  • Reporting an employer or company to a government agency for unlawful activity
  • Internally reporting conduct at the company that they reasonably believe is unlawful (commonly known as whistleblower retaliation)
  • Discussing their pay open and freely with their coworkers
  • Discussing their working conditions and the need for improved working conditions
  • Providing information to a government agency investigating a possible violation by an employer
  • Assisting fellow employees in asserting their rights
  • Refusing to obey orders reasonably deemed to be dangerous, discriminatory, or unlawful
  • Requesting accommodation(s) for certain eligible reasons such as disability, religious beliefs, et cetera

What to Do If Your Employer Retaliates Against You

There are different legal remedies available for employees who have been retaliated against by their employers. Labor and employment laws in California are complex. The issue of retaliation, for example, is often subject to interpretation and is a very fact-intensive analysis. As mentioned earlier, your employer might want to retaliate against you – tactically – to avoid being held liable for their unlawful actions.

A skilled labor and employment lawyer in California can help you investigate your employer’s actions and build a strong case. They can also help calculate the damages you may be entitled to in the event you decide to pursue a lawsuit.

Contact Our Knowledgeable Labor and Employment Lawyer in San Francisco

It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who participate in certain protected activities. If there is evidence to indicate you have experienced retaliation at your workplace, contact Melody Rissell Leonard with the Rissell Law Firm today to schedule a complimentary, confidential case review.

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