Retaliation can happen when an employer punishes an employee for reporting unlawful operations or acts committed by their employer. California state law, applicable in Long Beach, protects employees from retaliation from their employers. An employee should not be made to fear retaliation for reporting workplace discrimination or illegal activities. If you feel you are under reprisal or are being retaliated against by your employer, seek legal counsel immediately. Contact JML Law offices at 818-610-8800 or visit our website at www.jmllaw.com to speak with one of our confidential retaliation attorneys. Let our counselors advise you on what to do next and how to protect your legal rights without fear of punishment.
What You Should Know
Employers can not harass, threaten, assault, threaten to assault, or create a hostile or discriminatory work environment for an employee for participating in “protected activities.” In fact, the California Labor Code specifies certain remedies for violations of retaliation against an employee and states what conduct is illegal for an employer to do.
- An employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure or hearing authorized by law is guilty of a misdemeanor
- If an employer is found guilty of retaliating against an employee, he or she is liable for a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per employee for each violation, to be awarded to the employee or employees who suffered the violation in addition to any other damages available.
- An employer, or a person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee because the employee is a family member of a person who has, or is perceived to have, engaged in “protected activities.”
Workplace retaliation is not an uncommon occurrence. According to the EEOC, in 2017 there were 2,752 claims of retaliation filed by employees against their employers in California. In some cases, an employee is unaware of the extent of their legal rights and these retaliatory acts by employers go unreported. There are state and federal laws that protect employees from retaliation for engaging in “protected activities.” According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (D.I.R.), some examples of protected activities include:
- Filing or threatening to file a wage claim
- Taking time off for jury duty
- Reporting or complaining about a safety or health hazard
- Refusing to perform work that may be hazardous
- Being a witness in an EEO charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
- Speaking with a supervisor or manager about any occurrences of employment discrimination
- Answering questions during an employer investigation
- Refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination
- Resisting sexual advances, or intervening to protect others
- Requesting accommodation for a disability or religious practice
What To Do
There are set time constraints for reporting a claim of employer retaliation. The California Labor Code states, that in most occurrences, a complaint must be filed within six months of the act. Contact JML Law in Long Beach at 818-610-8800 to speak with one of our retaliation attorneys. Allow our attorneys to counsel you on how to safeguard your employment rights and stop any acts of retaliation.
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