Orange County Employment Retaliation Attorneys
Have you been fired, transferred, or demoted as a result of employment retaliation? Our Orange County employment retaliation attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve for wrongful termination or retaliation. Contact us for a consultation. At Smaili & Associates P.C. we provide legal representation to Fullerton, Irvine, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach, California residents.
Employment Retaliation Overview
Under California State law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for making discrimination or harassment complaints to local, state, and federal agencies while engaging in protected activity under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
12940. It is an unlawful employment practice, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification, or, except where based upon applicable security regulations established by the United States or the State of California:
(h) For any employer, labor organization, employment agency, or person to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because the person has opposed any practices forbidden under [California Government Code section 12940(a)] or because the person has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding [pursuant to that section].
In addition to state law mentioned above, federal law also prohibits retaliation such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the False Claims Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
What is Workplace Retaliation?
Retaliation can occur any many different forms such as receiving a demotion, transfer, salary reduction, or termination of employment. Retaliation can often be subtle. For example, a supervisor may force an employee to work an undesirable job shift which can be detrimental if he/she cares for a young child or elderly parent.
Consult with an attorney to get a professional opinion on whether or not you believe your employer’s actions constitute retaliation prior to filing a civil lawsuit against them.
Elements of an Employment Retaliation Claim
A plaintiff will have to prove the following elements occurred in order to successfully prevail on an employment retaliation claim against his/her employer:
- The plaintiff engaged in protected activity (see California Government Code section 12940);
- The employer acted adversely to the plaintiff as a result of engaging in protected activity;
- The employer’s adverse activity and the plaintiff’s protected activity were causally related.
An experienced employment law attorney can help you build a case against your employer. You should hire an attorney that is well-versed in protected employment activity pursuant to California State and federal laws.
How to FIle an Employment Retaliation Lawsuit
You first need to gather evidence to support your employment retaliation claim. Document any reference possible to the retaliatory behavior your employer has engaged in against you. You should also consider researching and tracking any historical information that supports your position. Once you obtain all pertinent evidence, file a complaint with the California Labor Commission.
The Labor Commission enforces laws which prohibit discrimination and retaliation against employees and job applicants. Once your complaint is filed, the Labor Commission will investigate your complaint (example – contact your employer and question any witnesses). If no settlement is reached upon the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare and forward a written summary of findings to the Labor Commissioner. The Labor Commissioner will review the findings and make a determination to remedy the claim if warranted.
Note, you should meet with an attorney prior to filing your complaint with the Labor Commission. For instance, it may be in your best interest to file your complaint with the EEOC depending on the scope of your employment status and the type of retaliation that occurred regarding the protected activity.
Our attorneys can help assert your claim for damages no matter which agency you select to file your claim with. Contact us for a consultation.