Last week, we wrote a blog discussing workplace protections afforded to whistleblowers under California and federal laws. Whistleblowers sometimes face retaliation from their employers. Employees can also face retaliation after filing harassment claims against employers. Examples of retaliation can include firing, demotions, harassment, being passed up for promotions or being relocated.
Employers might be breaking the law by retaliating against workers. If you are experiencing employer retaliation, you have several options to fight back.
- As stated last week, employees who notify law enforcement or other agencies of illegal activities have protections against employer retaliation under the Whistleblower Protection Act. Workers filing discrimination claims also have protections under the Civil Rights Act. Affected workers can file complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
- Employment law attorneys have experience working with evidence to discover favorable outcomes for workers facing retaliation. It can be easy to make mistakes when taking on an employer with considerably more resources. In some situations, workers may themselves accidently break state or federal laws while gathering evidence of retaliation, such as by recording other people without their permission.
- By gathering evidence, workers are ensuring their cases are more likely to succeed. Evidence can help while your case is under investigation by state or federal agencies and can also aid attorneys with possible litigation.
Why Fighting Back Against Employer Retaliation is Important
People should never be punished for doing what is right. Notifying the authorities of dangerous working conditions, illegal activities or other unethical actions should not be met with punishment, but praise. The same can be said for employees fighting back against discrimination. By fighting back, they are telling other employers guilty of the same crimes that these actions are unacceptable. Whatever the case may be, people have options to protect themselves from employer retaliation.