Did Your Employer Retaliate By Firing Or Harassing You?
Sarah discovered that her company deliberately shorted the number of small machine parts shipped weekly to a large corporate customer. When she discussed it with her supervisor, she was told with a wink that the actual quantity didn’t have to be accurate because the customer never complained. When Sarah was suddenly fired without explanation, she suspected it was because she had reported her concerns to human resources.
At Hennig, Ruiz & Singh in Los Angeles, we have a proud record of helping workers protect themselves after being fired for unlawful reasons.
What Is Retaliation?
Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer takes disciplinary action against an employee who engaged in a protected activity. Though it can be plain as day when an employer has decided to unlawfully retaliate against you — such as immediate termination 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 you’re a single mother and your employer reduces your 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
- Increased workload
Keep in mind, only those changes that have an adverse effect on your employment are considered retaliatory. That said, if you do engage in any protected activity outlined below and your employer begins to engage in any of the following unlawful, retaliatory behaviors, you may have grounds for filing 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
You Do Not Have To Choose Between Your Rights Or Your Job
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.
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.
Call Us Today To Schedule A Free Consultation
Do you have a valid claim against your employer for retaliation? Let us answer your questions. Call us at or use the email contact form to arrange a free consultation with one of our lawyers right away.