The Rankin Law Firm is highly experienced in handling workplace retaliation and whistleblower claims in California. We have the skills and experience to protect your employment rights and will work closely with you to recover compensation for losses arising from wrongful termination, lost career opportunities, or damage to your reputation.
Knowing that taking legal action against your employer can be intimidating, we will help you navigate the process and stand by you every step of the way. Please contact our office today so we can get to work on your workplace retaliation claim.
What is workplace retaliation?
All employees in California have certain legal rights under state and federal law, including the right to complain about workplace discrimination and harassment. They also have the right to notify the government about potential illegal conduct by their employers (whistleblowing).
In addition, employees cannot be retaliated against for participating in an investigation or filing a lawsuit against an employer.
Unlawful retaliation arises when an employer takes an adverse employment action against an employee, such as:
- Wrongful termination
- Demotion, reassignment of duties
- Negative work evaluations
- Salary reductions
As an example, an employee who is suddenly reprimanded or terminated for complaining about sexual harassment may be the victim of workplace retaliation. More subtle forms of retaliation can also occur, such as supervisors or coworkers behaving in a hostile manner towards an employee who has complained about harassment.
Even though California is an at-will state for purposes of employment, which gives employers leverage when making employment decisions, employees cannot be penalized or punished in any way for making a workplace complaint or filing a lawsuit.
Common Types of Retaliation in California Workplaces
State and federal laws protect employees from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Some common types of workplace retaliation include:
Employees have powerful legal protections under state and federal anti-discrimination laws, such as:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
Generally, these laws (1) prohibit employment discrimination based on protected characteristics such as age, gender, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and (2) protect employees from retaliation for complaining to their employers or the appropriate state or federal agency about discrimination or harassment.
Employees in California must be paid the current minimum wage under state or local law, and nonexempt employees are also entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers are barred from retaliating against employees who complain about wages or file wage and hour claims.
Employees in California are also protected against whistleblower retaliation. For example, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) protects employees who provide information to the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning securities fraud. Another federal law, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), protects employees at publicly traded companies who provide information about accounting or securities violations.
Family Medical Leave Retaliation
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to:
- Care for a newborn or recently adopted child
- Care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition
- Take medical leave due to a severe medical condition
- Assist family members when someone is deployed abroad on active military service
Employers are prohibited from taking an adverse employment action against employees who exercise their rights under the FMLA.
How The Rankin Law Firm Can Help With Your Workplace Retaliation Claim
Although employers are prohibited from terminating, demoting, reprimanding, or harassing employees who assert their rights, workplace retaliation is not uncommon. Identifying retaliation and fighting back against it, however, is challenging.
Businesses often disguise their illegal motives as legitimate employment decisions, which is why it is crucial to have an experienced workplace retaliation attorney on your side. When you become our client, we will take the time to explain all of your rights and explore all of your options. While we often recommend seeking negotiated settlements to workplace retaliation and whistleblower claims, we have a proven history of achieving successful outcomes in state and federal court. Above all, we will fight for the compensation you deserve, whether through arbitration, mediation, or litigation.
Contact Our Experienced California Workplace Retaliation Attorney
If you believe that you have been subjected to unlawful workplace retaliation, turn to The Rankin Law Firm. We have a well-earned reputation as dedicated advocates who provide our clients with powerful representation when they need it most. We will leverage our skills and experience to right this wrong and protect your rights, your livelihood, and your future. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can start working on your workplace retaliation claim.