If you believe wrongful conduct is occurring in your workplace, you may want to file a complaint with your HR department. Whether you want to report fraud, sexual harassment, or another type of grievance, your employer doesn’t have legal grounds to fire you for it. If an employer does retaliate against you, you can file a claim against them with the help of an experienced attorney. Our team at Polaris Law Group explains your legal rights as a California worker if you face retaliation in the workplace.
What Is Workplace Retaliation?
Retaliation occurs when an employer penalizes an employee for participating in “legal protected activities.” In California, filing a complaint is considered a legal protected activity that your employer can’t retaliate against. Common forms of retaliation include demotion, salary deduction, job reassignment, or firing. For example, if an executive was sexually harassing an employee, and the worker filed a complaint with HR, the executive does not have legal grounds to fire the employee for filing a complaint.
Types of Legal Protected Activities
Below we have put together a list of common types of legal protected activities. Your employer can’t retaliate against you for any of the following:
- Complaining about discrimination
- Providing information in an employer’s investigation regarding discrimination or harassment
- Refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be discriminatory or illegal
- Resisting harassing behavior
- Intervening to protect others from harassing behavior
- Requesting accommodation for a disability
- Requesting medical leave
Do I Have a Retaliation Case?
If your employer fired you after you filed a complaint, you might have a wrongful termination case. Retaliation and wrongful termination cases can be complicated because you will need strong evidence to prove your case. Your employer will most likely claim that they fired you for other reasons, so it is important to work with an experienced employment law attorney to gather strong evidence.
To prove retaliation, you will need evidence to show the following:
- You experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment, or another illegal activity
- You engaged in protected activity (such as filing a complaint)
- Your employer took an adverse action against you in response to the complaint
- You suffered damage as a result of your employer’s retaliatory action
Compensation in Retaliation Cases
In a retaliation lawsuit, you will most likely be seeking compensation for the damages suffered. You will need to demonstrate that you suffered lost wages and benefits as a result of your wrongful termination. An attorney may ask you to present W-2 forms or other related documents that demonstrate your financial struggles after losing your job for retaliatory reasons. You may also present any medical expenses that would have been covered by the health care benefits you previously had.
Experienced Retaliation? Call Us Today: (888) 796-4010!
If your employer fired you after you filed a complaint, you have federal and state laws that protect you. Our California employment law attorneys have years of experience helping employees who have been wronged. Our team handles a broad range of employment law issues, including those that are turned down by other attorneys. We understand that the time after a wrongful termination can be challenging; that is why our team is ready to help you fight for your rights. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our team workers with you every step of the way to help you obtain the best possible results for your case.
Contact our Monterey County attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a consultation!