Understanding Employer Retaliation

man stressed holding head at laptop

Employers don’t like it when their employees make complaints or cause trouble for them. These complaints cost money, take a lot of time and energy, and can harm the company’s reputation. It is even worse when the complaints against the employer are true. Unfortunately, instead of recognizing their own wrongdoing or violations, employers choose to take out their anger on the employees who have brought attention to their misconduct.

What is Retaliation?

Retaliation occurs when an employer engages in some form of punishment or adverse employment action against an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity. This punishment can take many different forms, such as threats by the employer or on the employer’s behalf, harassment and bullying, professional humiliation, threatening immigration action, spreading private information, attempts to damage the employee’s reputation, extra assignments, demotion, pay cuts, excluding the employee from training or the opportunity for promotion, and termination.

Retaliation is a very serious subject matter and one that can really harm honest, hard working employees. In addition, it is unlawful.

What Activities Are Legally Protected from Retaliation?

Under the California Labor Code, there are wide ranges of activities that are protected from retaliation. These activities include:

  • Raising a complaint or testifying in a proceeding regarding wage violations. This may include unpaid wages, overtime violations, or improper workweek designations.
  • Complains about workplace safety violations.
  • Whistleblowing to a proper state or federal authority regarding an employer’s violations of the law.
  • Taking time to serve on jury duty.
  • Refusing to violate the law or follow some employer directive that violates the law.
  • Refusing to violate safety standards and regulations.
  • Testifying or participating in legal proceedings as a crime victim.
  • Taking time to breastfeed, asking for lactation accommodations, or taking time to express milk during the workday.
  • A domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault victim taking time to attend to their safety or the safety of their children.
  • If an employee notifies the employer about her status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.
  • Taking time to fulfill their duties as a reserve peace officer, fire fighter, or disaster relief personnel.
  • Attending a child’s school meeting, responding to a school emergency, attending school activities, or finding a child care provider.
  • Discussing or disclosing their own salary.
  • Using accrued leave or complaining about leave violations.

A Lawyer Can Help You

Employers have the capacity to make your life miserable, which is why the law protects employees from retaliations. If you feel like your employer has retaliated against you, you need help. Contact Moss Bollinger for smart, effective legal representation. Employer retaliation is disgusting and we pride ourselves in holding bad employers accountable. You need an advocate who knows that law and will take your employer to task on your behalf. We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless you do. Call us today at (866) 535-2994 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online.

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