Retaliation

The workplace should be a discrimination-free environment where every employee can expect to be paid fair wages while doing their job with other workers to create, innovate, and thrive. However, sometimes issues arise, such as sexual harassment instances or misconduct from an employer. To keep the workplace safe, employees should be allowed to file a complaint or voice their concerns without facing the threat of retaliatory behavior from an employer, such as wrongful termination.

San Diego Employee Discrimination Lawyer

Retaliation is not only unpleasant; it is illegal. Under federal and California law, the California Labor Code and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is illegal for an employer to treat an employee unfairly because that employee has filed a complaint or testified against their employer.

Were you fired and believe it was because you expressed a concern about a workplace issue? Have you experienced subtle retaliation after bringing forward a harassment claim? Were you suddenly laid off after asking about unpaid overtime?

Can I File a Claim Against My Employer for Retaliation in California?

In California, employees are generally protected from retaliation for engaging in certain types of legally protected activity, such as reporting misconduct or participating in an investigation related to misconduct. To succeed in a retaliation claim, the employee (also known as the plaintiff) must typically prove the following elements:

  1. The employee engaged in protected activity. You must show that you engaged in activity that is protected by law, such as reporting misconduct or participating in an investigation related to misconduct.
  2. The employer took adverse action against the employee. You are also going to have to prove that your employer took some form of negative action against them, such as firing them, demoting them, or otherwise punishing them.
  3. The adverse action was taken because of the protected activity. Another component you must prove is that the adverse action was taken because of their protected activity, rather than for some other legitimate reason.

If you can prove these elements, you may be entitled to damages and other compensation, such as reinstatement or back pay.

How Do I File a Retaliation Claim in San Diego?

To file a retaliation claim in San Diego as an employee, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Gather evidence. Gather any documentation or other evidence that supports your claim of retaliation, such as emails, witness statements, or other forms of proof.
  2. Consult with a San Diego retaliation lawyer. Consider consulting with an experienced retaliation attorney who can review your case and provide advice on the best course of action. An attorney can also help you gather additional evidence and represent you in court if necessary.
  3. File a complaint with the appropriate agency. You may need to file a complaint with a government agency, such as the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), formerly the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), to initiate an investigation into the retaliation claim. In some cases, you may be required to file a complaint with the agency before you can file a claim.
  4. File a claim. If you decide to pursue a claim, you may need to file a complaint in court and serve it on the employer (also known as the defendant). You might also need to file other legal documents and attend court hearings as part of the process.

Overall, the process for filing a retaliation claim in San Diego can be complex and may involve a number of steps. It is crucial to carefully review the requirements and seek the assistance of an experienced employment attorney if you believe you have experienced retaliation.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Retaliation Claims in California?

The statute of limitations is the time limit within which a person must file a claim. In California, the statute of limitations for a retaliation claim depends on the type of claim and the applicable law.

For example, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the statute of limitations for a retaliation claim is one year from the date of the alleged retaliation. This means an employee must typically file a claim for retaliation within one year of the date on which the alleged retaliation occurred.

Under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the statute of limitations for a retaliation claim may be different. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the statute of limitations for a retaliation claim is generally 300 days from the date of the alleged retaliation.

Is It Difficult to Prove Retaliation in California?

Proving retaliation in California can be challenging, as it requires the employee to show that the employer took adverse action against them due to their protected activity, rather than for some other legitimate reason. This can be difficult to establish, however, as employers may try to present a different reason for the adverse action taken against the employee.

To succeed in a retaliation claim, you are going to need to provide evidence that supports your claim, such as documentation, witness testimony, or other forms of proof. You may also need to demonstrate that you were treated differently than other employees who did not engage in protected activity. It is important to carefully document your experiences, and working with a knowledgeable workplace discrimination attorney can help you make sure you have everything you need to file a claim.

What Is a Wrongful Termination Case?

A wrongful termination case is a legal claim brought by an employee who believes they were wrongfully terminated from their job. To succeed in a wrongful termination case, you must typically show that the termination was in violation of a law or contract. Some occurrences that can warrant a wrongful termination claim include:

  1. Discrimination. If you were terminated because of your age, gender, race, or other protected characteristic, you may have a wrongful termination claim based on discrimination.
  2. Retaliation. Reporting misconduct or participating in an investigation related to misconduct are protected activities. That means if you were terminated for either of these instances, you may be able to file a wrongful termination claim based on retaliation.
  3. Breach of contract. If you were terminated in violation of an employment contract or company policy, you may have a wrongful termination claim based on breach of contract.
  4. Public policy. Employers are required to let you serve on a jury or exercise your rights as a citizen. If you were terminated for engaging in activities that are protected by public policy, you may be able to file a wrongful termination claim based on public policy.

Get Protection Today

I have helped clients successfully resolve employee rights cases in which my client has experienced retaliation due to:

  • Taking a medical leave due to:
    • Pregnancy
    • Family emergency
    • Disability
  • Expressing concerns about some aspect of employment, including:
    • Unpaid overtime
    • Wage and hour questions
    • Meal and rest breaks
  • Reporting racial discrimination or sexual harassment
  • Reporting illegal behavior
  • Participating in a state or federal investigation
  • Testifying in support of someone else’s complaint regarding discrimination or harassment
Call For A Free Initial Consultation: 619-557-0458

If you believe you have been retaliated against but wonder what your next step should be, call my office. As a lawyer, I can help you decide how to proceed. After listening to you tell the story of what happened at your workplace and asking some specific questions, I can generally tell you whether or not I believe that exploring a legal action is the next step.

Sometimes retaliation is direct; sometimes it can be inferred (implied). An attorney can help you understand what the difference is and sift through the facts of your case. Call my San Diego law office today at 619-557-0458.

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