Attorneys For Workers Who Suffered Retaliation For Reporting Or Resisting Illegal Activity
Ashley worked in the shipping department of a large freight transfer company. When she complained about incidents of sexual harassment by several male workers, she was told it all came with the job. She filed a formal complaint with human resources but the harassment continued. When she called an official at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), she was immediately fired.
Hennig, Ruiz & Singh in Los Angeles represents workers who have faced wrongful termination or other acts of retaliation for reporting their employer’s discrimination or harassment under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Retaliation In The Workplace
When an employer penalizes an employee for engaging in a legally protected activity the employer is guilty of retaliation. Though it can be obvious when an employer has decided to unlawfully retaliate against you — such as a negative performance review shortly after filing a harassment complaint — other times, it’s not as clear.
If you’re unsure whether you’ve been subjected to workplace retaliation, first consider the circumstances of the negative action. For example, if your employer changes your schedule and forces you to take time off without pay shortly after you file a discrimination complaint, this could constitute illegal workplace retaliation.
Common illegal retaliatory actions include:
- Unfair disciplinary action
- Negative performance reviews
- Micromanagement shortly after filing a complaint
- Exclusion from meetings about projects you’ve been working on
- Denial of ongoing training
- Denial of promotions
- Denial of raises
- Reduction in pay
- Denial of bonuses and overtime
- Increased workload
Keep in mind that only those changes that have an adverse effect on your employment are considered retaliatory. That said, if you do engage in any legally protected activity that we outlined previously and your employer begins to engage in any of the following unlawful, retaliatory behaviors, you may be able to hold them liable under a workplace retaliation complaint.
Under federal and California law, retaliation is unlawful if it is based on a variety of protected activities, including:
- Reporting illegal conduct
- Refusing to engage in illegal conduct
- Reporting fraud on a government contract
- Complaining of harassment or discrimination
- Filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner
- Filing a lawsuit for a violation of your civil rights
- Filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)
- Filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Assisting another employee in the filing of a lawsuit or complaint of illegal activity
Your Rights Or Your Job? You Do Not Have To Choose.
Employees should not have to choose between obeying the law and keeping their jobs. If you believe that you are or have been subjected to retaliation, you should document it and follow your employer’s internal policies or procedures for making a complaint. A record of this treatment and documentation of complaints is key evidence in any claim for retaliation. If you believe that you may have been subjected to retaliation, contact our offices for a free consultation with one of our employment law lawyers.
Our attorneys generally represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is generally no fee for representation unless we obtain money for our clients.
California’s anti-retaliation laws generally provide greater protection from discrimination than federal law, and as a result, our office uses those laws to help protect workers and obtain compensation for legal violations committed by employers against their employees.
It is illegal for an employer to take any sort of adverse employment action against an employee for making a good faith report of illegal activity (i.e., harassment, discrimination, fraud). It is also illegal for an employer to take any sort of adverse employment action against an employee for refusing to engage in illegal conduct.
Brake V. State Of California Department Of Transportation, Total Judgment Of Over $997,000 Following Jury Trial
Our firm represented Mr. Brake, who had refused to engage in retaliation against a subordinate and was subsequently denied a promotion while being pressured by his supervisors to engage in retaliation. Following an extensive jury trial, Mr. Brake prevailed on all causes of action.
Single-Plaintiff Whistleblower Case Settled For $1.15 Million
Our firm represented an individual government employee who made numerous reports of potential conflicts of interest and alleged that his supervisor was directing contracts and business to a specific private company that did business with the government. After over a year of litigation, the matter was settled for $1.15 million.
Gender Discrimination And Retaliation Case Settled For $500,000
An employee of a large national company was repeatedly passed over for promotions while less experienced male colleagues were given responsibilities over her. She complained to human resources, and within a couple of months was written up – for the first time in a decade – for alleged performance issues.
Steps You Should Take To Help Your Case
If you believe that you are or have been subjected to employment retaliation, you should document the retaliation and follow your employer’s internal policies or procedures for making a complaint. A record of retaliatory treatment and documentation of complaints is key evidence in any claim for retaliation.
Please visit our Do I Have A Case? page to answer a few questions relating to your circumstances. If the questionnaire indicates you may have a case against your employer, contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached at 213-985-1305 or by email.