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Defenses employers may use to defend against retaliation claims

Things often times go smoother for employers in California when their employees simply do what they are asked to do and do not ask questions. This is because some employers do not always follow all the rules they are suppose to follow. If employees complain about these practices or start asking questions, it could cost the company money. So, employers may have some incentive to retaliate against employees who make complaints either internally or to the proper authorities to ensure it does not happen in the future.

While this is something that employers feel the need to do in certain situations, it is not a legal practice and employees who are retaliated against may be entitled to compensation from their employer. These are known as whistleblower retaliation claims and are very important for employees.

In a previous post we discussed evidence that employees could use to demonstrate that they were the victim of retaliation, but it is also important to understand the defenses employers use when defending against these claims.

Employers will try to demonstrate that the employee had poor job performance, that they violated company rules for attendance, insubordination, conduct with fellow co-workers and other types of violations. They could also show that the employee was not as qualified as other applicant for promotions or hiring. They may also try to demonstrate that any actions taken against the employee making the complaint were treated in the same manner that employees who did not make complaints were treated.

There are many employers in California who retaliate against their employees. These employers may try and mask their actions though and know what defenses to use. That is why it is important for employees to understand these potential defenses in order to be able to refute them and demonstrate that the employer was truly retaliating. Experienced attorneys understand these defenses and know how to work through them and may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: www.eeoc.gov, "Questions and Answers: Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues" accessed on May 10, 2018

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