Many employees are aware that a number of federal and California laws exist to provide them with protections from sexual harassment and discrimination. Fewer people are aware, however, that an employer may be held liable for engaging in unlawful retaliation against an employee. In general, workplace retaliation occurs when an employer fires, demotes, suspends, or takes some other adverse action or against an employee or job applicant after an employee has engaged in some type of protected activity. If you believe that you are experiencing workplace retaliation, the dedicated wrongful termination attorneys at Aarons Ward are prepared to help you assert your rights and to seek the compensation that you deserve. Going up against your employer may be intimidating, especially when your financial security is on the line. Our Los Angeles retaliation lawyers pride ourselves on providing each client with the personalized, responsive, and zealous legal advocacy that they deserve during this challenging time.Bringing a Retaliation Claim Under Federal Law
Both federal and California laws protect workers from experiencing retaliation in the workplace. At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. According to its website, retaliation is one of the most frequently reported grounds for a claim. The EEOC defines retaliation broadly. Workers are protected from retaliation for resisting sexual advances, reporting illegal activity, communicating about sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, or filing or being involved in an EEOC investigation. The act of filing an EEOC complaint is also a protected activity, meaning that your employer is not allowed to terminate you once it learns about a complaint or a pending investigation. There are some limits to these protections, however. An employer may still engage in any non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory discipline against the employee if it genuinely arises from an issue related to their job performance.Retaliation Protections for California Workers
There are several statutes in California that protect workers from retaliation related to discrimination, including age, gender, religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation, medical conditions, family circumstances, and more. These provisions also prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who refuses or resists sexual advances. In many instances, an employer engaging in sexual harassment will look for fabricated reasons to terminate an employee who refuses their advances. A retaliation attorney in the Los Angeles area can advise victims of retaliation based on sexual harassment or discrimination on whether they may have a strong claim.
Also, an employee may not be terminated for engaging in any lawful right, such as exercising their right to engage in political activities or to report any misconduct or wrongdoing occurring at their workplace. An employee will also be protected from retaliation if the employer is aiming to punish the employee for refusing to engage in illegal activity or refusing to assist other parties in the workplace with committing illegal acts.
Some key signs to recognize that may indicate retaliation include micromanaging an employee, submitting unsubstantiated negative performance reviews, taking unprompted disciplinary actions, providing a reduced or unreasonably increased workload, or denying any ongoing training, promotions, or raises. Spreading misinformation about the employee, making the employee’s work life more difficult, and even engaging in physical or verbal abuse are also potential indicators of workplace retaliation.Retain an Experienced Retaliation Lawyer in Los Angeles
Although federal and California laws provide a clear right to recover damages for employees who have experienced unlawful workplace retaliation, filing a claim and holding your employer responsible is not always easy, especially when the matter involves sensitive or emotional aspects. At Aarons Ward, our Los Angeles retaliation attorneys have provided reliable legal counsel to employees in the Los Angeles area including cities such as Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, and Glendale. Our team offers a free consultation so that you can learn more about the legal process, your rights, and the compensation that may be available to you. To schedule your appointment with a discrimination lawyer or discuss another type of employment claim, contact us online or at 818-794-7100.