Retaliation

San Diego Employment Retaliation Lawyers

Picture of retaliationHave you been the victim of an adverse employment action in retaliation for a complaint or other protected conduct?  If so you may have a claim against your employer for damages.

Retaliation against employees for exercising their rights, or complaining about unlawful conduct of their employer is common. However, proving retaliation in California can be very challenging since employers rarely, if ever admit that they retaliated against an employee. Therefore hiring an experienced employment attorney is very important. The Gould Firm represents victims of retaliation and has a track record of success.

To prevail in retaliation cases, it is necessary to establish a causal link between an employee’s protected activity and the adverse employment action by the employer such as termination, demotion, or transfer to a less desirable position or location. The employee needs to show that he or she engaged in a protected activity, that the employer was aware of that protected activity, and that the adverse action against that employee was taken shortly after the employee engaged in the subject protected activity.

It is important to note that even informal complaints to management about discriminatory employment practices are considered sufficient opposition to trigger prohibition against retaliation. Additionally, even threatening to file a discrimination complaint without actually filing it is a protected activity.

California law prohibits an employer from retaliating against any employee who engages in protected activity under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Government Code section 12940, subdivision (h), protects employees who resist or object to discrimination or harassment. That provision makes it unlawful for any employer to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because the person has opposed any practices forbidden under the law or because the person has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under the law.

Examples of Retaliation in the Workplace:

Being given fewer hours, being assigned to dangerous duties or a dangerous location, being demoted, being fired, or being punished solely because you attempted to enforce your legal rights, helped a co-worker assert their legal rights, or reported what you believed to be illegal activity by the company.

Circumstances That May Have Prompted Your Employer to Retaliate Against You:

  • You filed a workers’ compensation claim or attempted to file a workers’ compensation claim,
  • You took a leave for pregnancy, disability or a family emergency,
  • You reported illegal behavior by your employer, such as unpaid overtime, no breaks, or a dangerous workplace condition,
  • You complained of racial discrimination or sexual harassment or other discrimination going on at work,
  • You testified in support of a co-worker’s complaint of discrimination or harassment, or you helped a co-worker to report it, or,
  • You cooperated with a state or federal investigation involving the company you work for.

If you have been a victim of retaliation in the workplace you should contact the experienced employment attorneys at The Gould Firm today. We are here to answer any questions. We are here to help.