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What Is Considered Retaliation In The Workplace In California?

Can You Sue For Workplace Retaliation Claims In California?

You have the right to protected activities that your employer cannot punish or try to "get back at you" for. The most common is reporting or opposing your employer's illegal actions. So, if you were fired because you filed a complaint regarding workplace discrimination, then that is considered an act of retaliation in the workplace.

That said, you have legal options to protect yourself when this happens to you. Here's what you need to know from our prescreened retaliation lawyers in California:

California retaliation in the workplace

What Is Retaliation Against An Employee In California?

Retaliation at work occurs when you are punished or receive adverse employment actions for doing a protected activity. Here are a few examples of adverse employment actions that typically occur in retaliation in the workplace:

Demotion or Termination

Employees who report infractions of labor laws may occasionally be wrongly fired or demoted by their employers. In addition, a complaint from an employee may sometimes result in an immediate demotion or termination.

In other cases, a company may try to create progressively poorer performance assessments to "justify" their promotion or firing and defend themselves against a wrongful termination or retaliation claim.

Denying Otherwise Deserved Promotion Or Pay Raise

Sometimes workers who file complaints about labor law offenses find themselves suddenly denied advancement within their company. Retaliation in the workplace can manifest as raise rejections, even though other workers in the same role or with comparable (or worse) performance have continued to obtain raises.

It can also appear as a stagnant career, where a worker who had been promised a promotion suddenly finds themselves "ineligible" due to fabricated justifications or based on erroneous assumptions.

Compensation or Benefit Cuts

Some employers retaliate against employees by cutting back on their pay or benefits, similar to how they might turn down promotions or raises.

If you experience retaliation in the workplace, consult a California retaliation lawyer immediately.

Changes to the Schedule, Accommodations, and Shifts

Many businesses know they will be charged with retaliation in a lawsuit or complaint if they aggressively fire an employee. So, they opt for more subtle acts of retaliation in the workplace.

An employee's schedule or shifts may instead be purposely changed by some employers, making it challenging or even impossible for the employee to continue working without jeopardizing their quality of life. In some cases, they can even include ceasing to provide reasonable accommodations for a worker with a disability or medical condition.

Poor Conduct with Family, Loved Ones, and Friends

Some employers retaliate against employees by giving that employee's friends, family, or other loved ones purposely subpar service. This may be particularly obvious when a person the employee is related to, knows, or who works there or is a frequent visitor.

For more subtle cases like this, you must work with an experienced Los Angeles work retaliation lawyer. Your attorney can investigate the claim, compile evidence, and build a solid case.

Los angeles retaliation lawyer

Can I Sue My Employer For Retaliation In California?

Yes. You can file a civil suit for retaliation in the workplace. You can compel an employer into a private settlement or convince a jury to award damages.

In either case, having a California employment law attorney help you build a solid case is crucial.

What Makes A Strong Retaliation Case In California?

As mentioned, retaliation in the workplace can be subtle. However, in most cases, your employer or supervisor will deny intentionally doing adverse employment actions to punish you. Hence, evidence is vital in a strong retaliation in the workplace claim in California.

Here's what can be done to collect more evidence for your case:

  • Collect your employment documents, including your contract, pay slips, employee handbook, and other related papers.

  • Save, screenshot, and gather emails, texts, and messages. Any messages or conversations that show harassment and other discriminatory behavior.

  • Find eyewitnesses to support your claims. This could be other co-workers, family members, and others who might have witnessed how retaliation in the workplace has affected you.

  • Write down your experiences in a journal. Keep a journal of your experiences and add dates to your entries. This will help in building the timeline of your experiences with retaliation at work.

Compiling evidence is one thing, but it's another to build a strong case that effectively uses these pieces of evidence. So, contact a California Employment Attorney to help you with your retaliation claim.

california employment retaliation lawyer

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