Angela McKinley was hired in 2014 as a Production Control Supervisor at one of Rapid Global's client sites, working for FCA. At the time of her hiring, McKinley signed an Employment Agreement which specifically included a statement regarding the amount of time after which any claim or lawsuit that an employee might bring against the company or its subsidiaries -- no more than six months after the date of the action or incident that would be the subject of any claim or lawsuit filed. By signing this employment agreement, an employee waives any alternate statute of limitations that might apply to the filing of any future lawsuit.
Fact: you won't always get along with your coworkers or boss. Occasional friction at work is inevitable for many of us, but there are times when these disagreements can turn hostile -- and unlawful. For one, you may find yourself in a position to do what is right by defending a coworker who is facing discrimination. Or, you may need to speak up about illegal activities that are occurring in your workplace. If one day you engage in these, or other protected activities, you could very well become a victim of workplace retaliation by your employer, or even your coworkers.
Even if you had the best intentions for defending one of your colleagues; whether the individual was demoted, fired or even harassed on the job, your employer may still choose to fire you. However, the question you should be asking is this: Was your firing legal? If not, your employer may have subjected you to wrongful termination and retaliation.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued some proposed revisions to processing and investigating workplace retaliation charges, which would offer new protections to employees. Because retaliation claims continue to be the most common of all workplace discrimination charges (33,800 were filed in 2015), the new guidelines are sorely needed - especially since the retaliation guidance hasn't been updated since 1998.
A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) employee recently settled a retaliation lawsuit against the City when her employer violated both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Labor Code § 1102.5.
Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a handful of employment law-related bills that give California employees more protections against unlawful employer retaliation. On January 1, 2016, AB 987 was just one of the new laws that went into effect, extending anti-retaliation protections to employees who request reasonable accommodations due to eithera disability or religious beliefs.