California law protects employees who exercise their rights in the workplace. Employees should not suffer adverse consequences to their employment for doing what is right and reporting unlawful conduct at work.
Retaliation happens when an employer fires, demotes, lays off, or does something that adversely affects the terms and conditions of an employee’s job because the employee engaged in protected action such as opposing, reporting, speaking up or complaining about illegal practices. Examples of protected action include, but are not limited to, taking a medical leave of absence, requesting reasonable accommodation for a disability, or protesting and reporting conduct by the employer that the employee reasonably believes to be unlawful. For instance, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for complaining about discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Similarly, an employee may have a retaliation claim if he or she is retaliated against for taking a pregnancy leave, a medical leave of absence, or for requesting accommodation for a disability.
It is similarly illegal for an employer to fire, demote, or otherwise retaliate against an employee for reporting or protesting conduct, conditions or practices by the employer, which the employee reasonably believes to be unlawful, or because of the employee’s refusal to participate in such illegal conduct. Depending on the industry, there are numerous state and federal laws and regulations that may be triggered by a whistleblower’s report or disclosure of a violation or non-compliance, whether it is done internally to the employer or to an outside governmental agency.
Los Angeles retaliation attorney Afshin Mozaffari has a comprehensive understanding of California employment law and can help you navigate the laws that exist to protect you. The most common bases for retaliation lawsuits in California are:
- The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – the FEHA makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who oppose discrimination or harassment, file a complaint about discrimination or harassment, or testify or assist in any investigation or lawsuit over discrimination or harassment.
- Labor Code section 1102.5 – this is California’s most general whistleblower protection law which prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who calls attention to unlawful behavior or activities in the workplace or refuses to engage in illegal activity
- Labor Code section 98.6 – this law makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who complains about unpaid wages, or files or threatens to file Labor Code violations (e.g., wage and hour violations) to the California Labor Commissioner
- Labor Code section 6310 – this law prohibits whistleblower retaliation against employees who report violations of occupational health and safety rules
- Government Code section 8547 – this is California’s public employee whistleblower law which protects public employees who reports suspected violations of law
These are just a few of the laws in California that protect whistleblowers. There are many others, which is why it is important to speak with an attorney who is experienced in employment discrimination law and who can help you navigate the laws that exist to protect you. Los Angeles retaliation lawyer Afshin Mozaffari focuses on retaliation cases and has helped numerous clients across California get the resolution they deserve. If you feel you are being treated unfairly or targeted because of a protected action you took in the workplace, contact Mozaffari Law at 323.696.0702 or Info@mozaffarilaw.com for a confidential consultation.