Do you know what workplace retaliation is? Not many people do, even though there are laws that prevent employers from acting out against you if you report ongoing issues like discrimination or harassment in a work environment.
Remember, the California Whistleblower Act prevents an employer from retaliating against an employee if the employee reported illegal activities at work. In addition, the law prevents an employer from retaliating against employees who work with government or law enforcement agencies to disclose violations of state or federal law.
Additionally, there are laws that prevent employers from terminating employees or placing them on leave for extended periods following investigations. While it is okay for an employer to do this as an investigation is ongoing, it should not suspend or terminate an employee if nothing is being done over allegations of wrongdoing or negligence.
In an unusual case, a principal at a Pleasanton elementary school who was placed on administrative leave in 2013 following allegations that he created a “hostile work environment” has filed a lawsuit against the Pleasanton Unified School District, accusing it of gender discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The principal reportedly filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing immediately after he was placed on leave. He reportedly complained that his professional reputation and character were “assaulted and threatened.”
The school district allegedly settled two sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims centered on the actions of the principal, paying out $245,000 in each case. The principal claims that the district paid the settlements to alleviate issues concerning other employees and that it subsequently retaliated against him after the settlements were approved, placing him on leave.
Who Should I Talk to About Workplace Retaliation?
As this case shows, employer retaliation claims can be incredibly complex. This is why it is important to have an experienced labor attorney working for you.
There are two sides to every story. If you feel like you have experienced retaliation because someone at your workplace made allegations against you, you should speak to our labor attorneys.
If you have experienced issues with retaliation at work, call us to discuss your options. Remember, there are laws protecting you.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys