What To Do If You’re Facing Workplace Retaliation

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What To Do If You’re Facing Workplace Retaliation

Employees who report unethical or illegal workplace practices deserve praise for speaking up, yet they sometimes face mistreatment as a result. California employees should be aware of their rights under the state’s Labor Code section 230(a). This provision oversees that employees cannot be terminated or retaliated against when reporting discrimination in the workplace or completing other protected actions, given that the employee has informed the employer about the violation. If you believe your employer wrongfully retaliated against you, contact a knowledgeable employment lawyer. Receive counsel specific to your case alongside attorney Jeannette A. Vaccaro.  

Workplace Retaliation and Protection Under California Employment Law

Employment in California is typically done on an “at-will” basis, meaning an employer can legally terminate an employee for any reason, or a lack thereof. However, employers must obey certain regulations. Under California employment law, employers cannot retaliate against employees who have taken specific protected action. Workers who are being treated poorly at work and report this mistreatment are protected because they are legally allowed to report mistreatment. Employer retaliation laws are essential to protecting workers from wrongful termination, although not every worker loses their job but are instead denied important benefits.

Retaliation can take place in many different situations, and it’s one of the leading complaints that workers file against their employers. Yet not all claims of wrongful treatment are considered retaliation.  

Understanding How Workplace Retaliation Is Defined in California

Employer retaliation is the adverse action taken against an employee for participating in protected activities. The adverse action includes anything that an employer does to discourage workers from speaking up about an issue in their workplace. Retaliation takes various forms, some of which are subtle:

  • Unwarranted low scores in performance reviews 
  • Given less desirable shifts or tasks
  • Earned job benefits are denied
  • Promotion or raise you think you earned are denied
  • Denial to opportunities or training that would further your career
  • Disproportionately large workload
  • Wrongful termination

These acts may take place once, or make up a pattern of unfair treatment that discriminates against you for a protected action. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who exercise their rights under California law, so if you believe your employer has taken action against you, it’s important to review your options with an attorney at the soonest opportunity. 

Proving Workplace Retaliation

While workplace retaliation laws clearly state what is considered retaliation, proving that your employer has retaliated against you can be challenging because many actions against you are done subtly. To form your claim, you will need to demonstrate that you completed the following: 

  • Performed a protected activity
  • Faced adverse actions from your employer
  • The major motivating cause for the adverse action was your engagement in the protected activity
  • You suffered harm that was substantially caused by your employer’s adverse action

You will need to file a retaliation claim, and this process may vary depending on which law you are making your claim under. An employment lawyer can help guide you through the process and explain your rights each step of the way. If you believe your employer retaliated against you for taking a protected action, contact Jeannette A. Vaccaro at the soonest opportunity to discuss your claim.

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