People in California like anywhere else risk legal consequences when they break the law. This is true for individuals and for corporations and other legal entities. Despite the potential consequences, some people and entities may feel it is worth the risk and do it anyways. Often times, businesses that do this are trying to avoid extra costs or make more money. However, employees of the company may not want to partake in the illegal activity and report the violations to the appropriate authorities.

In past posts we have discussed whistleblower retaliation and that companies cannot retaliate against employees who do this or participate in an investigation once it starts. However, employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who either refuse to do certain activities or make certain requests, not just ones who actively report violations or participate in investigations.

Employees are allowed to refuse to follow any orders from supervisors that would result in discrimination against an employee or group of employees. They also can refuse fellow employees or supervisors sexual advancements and can prohibit it from occurring to other co-workers. Employees are also allowed to ask for reasonable accommodations for a disability as well as ask for salary information for fellow employees if they believe they are the victim of pay discrimination.

These actions are protected and employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who exercise these rights. If they do they may be required to compensate the victims in the same manner as any other whistleblower retaliation claim such as back pay and reinstatement to their position.

There are many different companies in California and all run their business in the way they see fit. However, all companies must follow certain rules and one of those is that they cannot retaliate against employees who report violations of the law or exercise their protected rights in the workplace. Experienced attorneys understand these protected rights and may be able to help hold employers who violate them responsible.

Source:, “Facts about Retaliation” accessed on April 10, 2018