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California Law Protects Workers From Employer Retaliation

September 3, 2020 Legal Team

As an employee in California, you should not have to fear for the security of your job or quality of work environment simply for exercising your rights. You have certain rights that protect you from unfair treatment, discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Retaliation is considered a form of unlawful discrimination that occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes adverse, unlawful action against an individual employee or applicant because he or she is engaged in a protected activity.

What Is Considered Employer Retaliation?

Many instances of employer retaliation lead to the termination of the worker, which can be relatively easy to determine as a case of wrongful determination and unlawful retaliation.

But other cases may be not-so-easy to spot. Here are a few tell-tale signs that your employer may be illegally retaliating against you:

  • You began receiving negative performance reviews even though your work hasn’t changed and you were receiving positive feedback before

  • Your workload has increased

  • You were given less desirable shifts

  • You were given fewer shifts

  • You were denied a raise or promotion that you believe you deserved

  • You were denied access to training, equipment, or other tools that you need to perform your job.

Another prominent example of employer retaliation has to do with whistleblowing. If an employee reports their company for violating a law, they are protected under California Labor Code 1102.5 LC. Some examples of whistleblowing include:

  • Reporting suspected criminal activity to a government agency

  • Reporting a suspected violation of a law (such as safety regulations) to a supervisor or regulating team at the company that may investigate the claim

  • Providing information or committing to testify against the employer for wrongful activity

What Are Your Rights If You Believe Your Employer Retaliated Against You?

Employer retaliation is taken seriously in California. Three new bills went into effect in 2014 that strengthen the protections for workers in the state, which include:

  • Broadened grounds for a finding of employer retaliation

  • Broadened protections for whistleblowers

  • Ability to update personal information without fear of retaliation

  • Increased penalties for employer retaliation

  • Suspension of business licenses for employers who retaliate against workers who exercise their rights by threatening to report immigration status

Ultimately, it’s always recommended that you hire an experienced employment law attorney who can review the specifics of your employment and case to determine whether you were the subject of unlawful employer retaliation.

At Aegis Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of workers across California. If you believe that your employer unlawfully retaliated against you, our legal team is standing by ready to review your case for free and determine the best course of legal action that we can help you take.

Call us at (949) 379-6250 or fill out an online form to learn more about your legal options today!