Employees shouldn’t be fired or punished for doing the right thing. In addition to protections against discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour violations, you are also entitled to protection when you stand up for what you believe. You are protected when you complain about discrimination, harassment and wage and hour violations in the workplace. You are protected when you refuse to participate in unlawful activities, or report your employer’s or co-workers’ unlawful activity to management or the authorities. And you are protected when you assert your right to spend time with a newborn child or take another type of protected leave of absence.
When employers take adverse or negative employment action against employees who engage in lawful activities, this is referred to as “retaliation.” Employer retaliation is illegal under federal and California laws like California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and California Labor Code Section 1102.5.
If you suspect that your employer wrongfully terminated you or retaliated against you in some other way for complaining about or opposing discrimination, harassment or other illegal practices at work, or for some other protected activity, contact us online or at (213) 863-4276 to speak with a Los Angeles whistleblower attorney. We will evaluate your claims, explain the retaliation laws and your legal options, and propose a strategy to obtain the justice you deserve.
We handle all retaliation cases on a contingency basis. That means you pay us nothing unless and until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
If you are in need of a Workplace Retaliation Whistleblower Attorney, contact Custis Law, P.C. today for a free consultation.
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Recognizing Unlawful Retaliation in the Workplace
Retaliation occurs when an employer fires you or takes another negative employment action against you because you complained about or took a stand against workplace discrimination and harassment, or engaged in another “protected activity.” Common examples of protected activities that potentially would support a retaliation claim include the following:
1. Reports, Complaints, and Opposition to Discrimination and Harassment
In California, you have the legal right to take a stand against discrimination or harassment in the workplace. This includes standing up for yourself and speaking out on behalf of your coworkers. If you report workplace discrimination or harassment, if you file a workplace discrimination or harassment complaint, or if you refuse to participate in conduct that contributes to a hostile work environment, these are all commendable actions that entitle you to legal protection. You are also protected from retaliation when you complain about other illegal conduct like wage theft or safety violations.
2. Reporting an Employer’s Illegal Activity
Section 1102.5 of the California Labor Code protects employees who report suspected illegal activity. This includes providing information to a coworker or someone in management “who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance.” This also includes reporting suspected unlawful activity to a governmental or law enforcement agency. However, Section 1102.5 offers protection without any need to make a complaint governmental or law enforcement agency. Reporting unlawful activity internally at your job may be a sufficient basis to assert a retaliation claim. Similar whistleblower protections exist under various federal laws as well. At both the state and federal level, it is enough to reasonably believe that a violation has occurred or is ongoing – even if this belief turns out to be incorrect. A whistleblower lawyer can help you with a claim.
3. Refusing to Participate in an Employer’s Unlawful Conduct
Section 1102.5 also prohibits employer retaliation against employees who refuse to participate in unlawful conduct. Specifically, this law protects you when you refuse “to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation.” Critically, this law protects you even when you do not report the suspected illegal activity to anyone. If you were terminated because you refused to participate in illegal activity at work, we can help. Contact a workplace retaliation attorney online or at (213) 863-4276 for a free consultation.
4. Requests for Protected Leave and Reasonable Accommodations
If you are entitled to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or the California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA), your employer cannot prevent you from taking leave, and it cannot retaliate against you if you choose to do so. If you are threatened with termination or other adverse consequences, or if you lose your job in violation of the statutory protections that are in place, these are all potential forms of unlawful retaliation.
In addition, laws such as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act entitle employees to reasonable accommodations for religious practices and disabilities. While not all requested accommodations must necessarily be provided, employers cannot take adverse action against employees who request accommodations (even potentially costly ones) for their individual needs.
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