California is an “at will” State. If the employee does not have a written employment contract, an employer can terminate an employee at any time and without any notice. However, an employer cannot terminate an employee for any illegal reason such as one based on race, age, gender religion, sexual orientation or other protected class. An employer also cannot retaliate and/or terminate an employee for acting within his rights and/or in the public interest.
Retaliation can take many forms. One of the most common forms of retaliation is unlawful termination. However, there are other means by which an employer may illegally retaliate against an employee. An employer may reduce employment hours or pay rate, wrongfully demote or discipline an employee, make unreasonable work demands, or block an employee’s promotion or advancement.
Complaining about wage and hour violations
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
Filing for unemployment benefits after a cut in employment hours
Taking family/medical leave
Complaining about sexual harassment
Refusing unwanted sexual advances
Refusing to engage in unethical or unlawful conduct
Complaining about employment discrimination
Reporting unsafe work conditions
Disclosing abuse, wrongdoing, fraud or safety violations
Reporting abuse, wrongdoing, fraud, or safety violations
Refusing to lie to a government official or agency
In addition, there are specific whistleblower laws that protect employees from retaliation when they come forward to report wrongdoing and illegal acts. For instance, Labor Code §6310 protects employees who report health violations and occupational safety while Labor Code §98.6 protects employees who report violations of wage and hour laws.
There are many other forms of employer retaliation. If you are unsure whether your employer is guilty of workplace retaliation, it is best to seek guidance and advice as soon as possible.
Employer retaliation is a serious problem. The threat of workplace retaliation prevents many employees from exercising their legal rights. If you have been retaliated against, seek legal advice. Learn about your rights and the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
Contact the Law Office of Alisa Goukasian by calling 818-242-4601 to schedule your free consultation with a Burbank, California workplace retaliation lawyer.