Why Do Employers Retaliate Against Their Employees?
Workplace retaliation refers to damaging and illegal actions committed by an employer or manager against their workers. Generally, employer retaliation occurs when a worker complains about an issue, files an official report, or aids in investigating unlawful activity at the workplace. Workplace retaliation may occur when an employee is injured and files a workers’ compensation claim.
The reasons an employer may retaliate against their employees include examples such as:
- A worker files a report about discrimination in the place of work, including sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, disability discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, or age discrimination.
- An employee reports wage violations.
- Illegal or fraudulent activity has occurred in the workplace, and a worker reports this to the authorities.
- The employee is pressured to participate in illegal or fraudulent activities but refuses.
- The worker has been sexually harassed and filed a complaint
- The worker raises issues about workplace hazards.
- Unpaid wages or unpaid overtime complaints.
- Violations of any other employee rights.
If you believe you have been unlawfully discriminated against or retaliated against, you should seek legal advice from a professional. Our legal team makes employment law violations one of our central focuses at our law firm. Our workplace retaliation attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assist you during these challenging times with the intent of helping you recover damages for your troubles.
What Are Common Examples of Employer Retaliation?
In some cases, employer retaliation is so extreme that it involves wrongful termination. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have the legal right to seek compensation for any losses you have incurred. In other employer retaliation cases, the retaliation can be less extreme but no less insidious and unlawful.
Common examples of workplace retaliation include the following:
- A decrease in salary without reason or cause.
- Being given an unsatisfactory job reference when looking for new employment.
- Benefits get terminated.
- Getting reassigned to job duties with increased risks to life and limb.
- Hours getting slashed.
- Increased workloads.
- Inexplicably leaving a worker out of training opportunities.
- Persistent denial of raises or promotions granted to other, sometimes less qualified employees.
- Shift reassignments neither requested nor deserved.
- Undeserved negative performance reviews.
- Unfavorable job relocations.
- Unwarranted reprimands played out in front of other employees to create a public spectacle of shame.
- Wrongful termination.
If you do not see your situation mentioned in the above examples, do not worry. Instead, please contact our California law offices to schedule a free case evaluation, where we can discuss your case’s particulars in more detail.
What Are Different Types of Employer Retaliation Claims?
Workplace retaliation is prohibited by state and federal laws. Despite that, workplace retaliation is among the most common forms of workplace discrimination reported in California. Labor groups claim that there has been an increase in workplace retaliation claims in recent years because of the power imbalance between employers and employees: the fear of losing a much-needed job.
The law recognizes several different types of workplace retaliation claims. These include:
- Discrimination claim (sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, et al.) retaliation.
- First Amendment rights retaliation.
- Political activity retaliation, such as voting for a party that the employer doesn’t like.
- Union activity retaliation.
- Wage retaliation.
- Workers’ comp retaliation.
To better understand what type of workplace retaliation claim your case fits into, please consult with the employment law attorneys of our law firm.
What Type of Damages Could Be Awarded for Your Employer Retaliation Claim?
If you and your attorney are successful in your workplace retaliation claim, you may be awarded damages to help cover the losses you’ve incurred due to the illegal retaliation.
The losses you may recover include:
- Attorney legal fees and court costs.
- Back pay and any other unpaid wages.
- Denied bonuses.
- Denied vacation pay.
- Emotional distress and mental anguish.
- Future lost income as a result of the retaliatory actions.
- Lost benefits.
- Lost sick leave.
- Pain and suffering damages.
- Potential punitive damages.
- Potential reinstatement of your former job position.
Before you win any financial recovery or other compensation, you must first prove your case. This task will be difficult, especially if you wish to go alone. Retaining professional legal counsel when filing an employer retaliation claim is strongly recommended.
How Can You Prove Your Employers Retaliated Against You?
The California Labor Code makes employer retaliation illegal, but that doesn’t mean your case will be easy to prove. Circumstantial evidence may be central to your claim, and some judges are less likely to accept that evidence as proof.
Your employment law lawyers may point out that the employers ignored their internal policies to punish an employee. Your lawyer may point to the false negative performance reviews that contradict prior performance evaluations. They may also use the timeline of events to indicate that you were punished after you reported your claims.
To have a successful case, it must also be proven that you suffered losses due to the discriminatory behavior.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Workplace Retaliation Lawyers Today
Employer retaliation is an egregious wrong that should not be tolerated. If you feel that you’ve been unlawfully discriminated or retaliated against, you have the right to seek legal action with the help of a lawyer. Geonetta & Frucht, LLP, has years of experience representing clients in the San Francisco Bay Area in legal matters involving employment law disputes.
Our law firm offers a free initial consultation to all prospective clients. To schedule your free case review with our Oakland law office, please call 510-254-3777. To speak with our legal staff at our San Francisco law offices, please contact us at 415-433-4589.