No one starts a new job expecting to pursue legal action against their employer. Alas, the sober reality is that you are likely to face illegal employment practices at some point. Should you be placed in this unfortunate position, you need to feel confident that your employer won’t retaliate against your complaints. It is critical for you to understand your rights in the workplace, the types of retaliation that are legally prohibited, how to fight back if you encounter them, and how you are protected by California employment law.
Retaliation occurs when you are denied certain rights after speaking out against his employer for unfair or illegal actions. The employer might retaliate against you by, for example, denying you benefits or overtime pay, or even unjustly firing you. It is vital for you to recognize that you have the right to report potential illegal activity by your employer, and that you are protected against employer retaliation when you do.
Under both California and federal employment law, you are protected against illegal employment practices. These laws allow employees who believe that they are being unfairly treated or experiencing other problems with working conditions have the right to proceed with legal action.
What Your Employer Cannot Do
Your employer cannot retaliate against you for:
Knowing when your employer is retaliating against you is critical to your claim. Make sure to record and/or document any suspected retaliation so you have a chance of building a strong case against your employer. The following are signs that your employer may be retaliating against you:
Sometimes, these acts of retaliation may be warranted. If they are, then they are not actual acts of retaliation; rather, they represent only an honest evaluation of your recent work performance. It is important to keep your head clear when it comes to observing your employer’s behavior since they are the primary source of evidence for your retaliation claim.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Workplace Retaliation
If you suspect that your employer is retaliating against you, the first thing you should do is take the matter up with a human resources representative or your supervisor. It is important to determine if there are valid reasons for your employer’s change in behavior.
If you are not satisfied with your employer’s response, you should reach out to a skilled employment attorney and then contact the California Fair Employment and Housing Department, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Office of the Labor Commissioner, depending on the nature of your complaint. Your lawyer can help you determine which agency to approach first.
Filing a Lawsuit
It is likely that the administrative agency to which you applied will not resolve your complaint in a manner that is satisfactory to you. Unfortunately, these agencies are underfunded and cannot handle the volume of the complaints that they receive. It is still important to file the claim with the appropriate agency because in most cases you are required to file an administrative complaint before you file a lawsuit.
Building a case against your employer for workplace retaliation involves gathering evidence and recording your employer’s actions both before and after your complaint. Gathering or creating documentation establishing that your employer praised you for a particular job before you lodged your complaint but criticized you for a similar job afterwards could serve as strong evidence in your favor. The more evidence you can gather, the better your chances of winning.
Several different types of compensation are potentially available to you, depending on the facts of your case and, quite frankly, the skill with which your lawyer pursues your claim. The four main types of damages are:
I have been practicing law full time for over a decade. After graduating well within the top three percent of my law school class, I spent five years working for Jones Day, a world-class law firm with offices in 19 countries. I later joined a boutique business litigation law firm, where I honed my litigation skills to a razor’s edge. My current practice centers on employment law and commercial litigation.
Types of Cases I Take
In addition to employment discrimination cases, I also handle the following types of claims:
In some cases, an employer retaliation claim will involve similar offenses such as unpaid wages or wrongful termination.
If you believe you have a legitimate claim of workplace retaliation, Corbett H. Williams is fully prepared to fight for any compensation you rightfully deserve. Cases dealing with unfair workplace actions may seem daunting, but Corbett has had experience with both sides of these issues and knows how to handle these types of cases. Don’t hesitate to call the office at 877-304-7066 to schedule a free case analysis.