Updated: Apr 13
Understanding Retaliation Protections with Insights from a Los Angeles Labor Lawyer
As an employee in California, you have certain rights and protections under the state's labor laws. One such law is Labor Code 98.6, which gives employees a private right of action to pursue legal action against their employer for retaliation in response to reporting unlawful conduct in the workplace.
In this article, we will explore Labor Code 98.6 and its implications for employees in California, with insights from a Los Angeles labor lawyer.
What is Labor Code 98.6?
Labor Code 98.6 is a provision of California's labor laws prohibiting retaliation against employees who report violations of state or federal laws or regulations. Under this law, employers are prohibited from taking any adverse action against an employee who has made a complaint or filed a report about unlawful conduct, including discrimination, harassment, or wage and hour violations.
What is a private right of action?
A private right of action allows an individual to bring a lawsuit against another individual or entity rather than relying on government agencies to enforce the law.
For example, in the context of Labor Code 98.6, an employee who has been retaliated against for reporting unlawful conduct can file a lawsuit against their employer seeking damages.
What is considered retaliation under Labor Code 98.6?
Retaliation can take many forms, including termination, demotion, reduction in hours or pay, or other adverse employment actions.
To be considered retaliation under Labor Code 98.6, adverse action must be taken in response to the employee's report of unlawful conduct.
Can an employer retaliate against an employee for reporting unlawful conduct to a government agency?
No. In addition to prohibiting retaliation for internal complaints, Labor Code 98.6 prohibits retaliation for reporting unlawful conduct to a government agency. Therefore, an employer cannot take adverse action against an employee for filing a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner or any other government agency.
How can a Los Angeles labor lawyer help employees who have experienced retaliation?
A Los Angeles labor lawyer can help employees who have experienced retaliation in several ways.
They can help the employee understand their rights under Labor Code 98.6 and other applicable laws, evaluate the strength of the employee's case and negotiate with the employer on the employee's behalf. If necessary, the lawyer can also file a lawsuit on behalf of the employee and represent them in court.
Example Cases Involving California Labor Code 98.6
There have been numerous cases involving Labor Code 98.6 in California. One notable case is Alamo v. Practice Management Information Corp., in which an employee was terminated after reporting wage and hour violations to her employer. The employee filed a lawsuit under Labor Code 98.6 and was awarded $3.5 million in damages.
In another case, Green v. State of California, a state employee was demoted after reporting sexual harassment by a coworker. The employee filed a lawsuit under Labor Code 98.6 and was awarded $2.6 million in damages.
Labor Code 98.6 is an important protection for employees in California who have reported unlawful conduct in the workplace. Suppose you believe you have experienced retaliation for reporting such conduct. In that case, it is important to speak with a Los Angeles labor lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing legal action.