California wants to protect its employees from discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace. Some of the most employee-friendly laws in the US govern California employment relationships. But in order to get the benefit of the laws, employees have to expose their bosses and their unlawful practices. A lot of employees may not come forward because they are too afraid of how an employer will respond and how it might affect their jobs. The laws make it clear that employers better not react negatively to employees who try to enforce their rights or help to expose other unlawful behavior by an employer.
At Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, our Los Angeles retaliation attorneys help our clients prove that the actions taken by their employers were retaliatory responses to the legitimate exercise of their rights.
When Does Employer Retaliation Occur?
An employer retaliates against an employee when the employer takes adverse action in response to an employee’s assertion of legal rights in the workplace. Employees can exercise their workplace rights in either of two ways.
- Participation – employees make claims against their employer for violating a workplace right or request an accommodation or other workplace right that they are legally entitled to
- Opposition – employees oppose engaging in illegal behavior directed by their employer
What Employer Retaliation Can Look Like
Employer retaliation might be obvious if your job requirements are suddenly switched or there are other significant changes that seem to coincide with the action you took. But many employers know that whatever they do can’t look like retaliation and so they are more subtle in their responses. Any of the following might be considered retaliation depending on the employer’s justification.
- Exclusion – from regular work activities such as meetings or training
- Discipline – unequal enforcement of employer policies or procedures
- Job responsibilities – demotion, changed job assignment, hours cut, passed over for promotion
- Performance – uncharacteristic poor review, an unfavorable recommendation
- Termination – fired or ‘let go’
How to Prove Employer Retaliation in California
If you believe that your employer retaliated against you for doing something the law gives you the right to do, you will have to demonstrate that your employer’s motivation was not based on legitimate employment-related factors.
There will rarely be a ‘smoking gun’ that will prove an employer’s adverse actions were retaliation. In most cases, whether or not retaliation can be proven will depend on all of the circumstances surrounding the employer’s actions. Factors that tend to indicate retaliation are
- Timing – the employer’s action was close in time to the employee’s exercise of rights
- Communications – the employer makes comments or threats prior to the adverse action
- Justification – the employer gives a poor performance as the reason for termination after a 10-year history of outstanding performance reviews
The Los Angeles retaliation lawyers at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers know that the success of our clients comes from being able to build a strong case for retaliation against their employers. We help you identify the circumstances and collect the information that demonstrates your employer’s actions were not legitimate and you are entitled to financial recovery as a result. To discuss your case, schedule a free consultation by contacting us here or calling 310-527-6994.
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