Protecting your rights in the workplace.

What Is Workplace Retaliation in California?

Workplace retaliation is a serious issue that can have detrimental effects on employees’ well-being and organizational culture. Understanding what constitutes retaliation and how to address it is crucial.

What Is Workplace Retaliation?

Workplace retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee in response to the employee engaging in protected activities. Protected activities can include filing a complaint about discrimination or harassment, participating in an investigation, or exercising rights under employment laws.

Common Forms of Workplace Retaliation

Workplace retaliation can manifest in various forms, all aimed at punishing or intimidating employees for engaging in protected activities. Here are some common forms:

Termination or Demotion

One of the most severe forms of retaliation is termination or demotion of an employee shortly after they engage in protected activities, such as filing a complaint or reporting wrongdoing.

Negative Performance Reviews

Unjustified negative performance evaluations, even if the employee’s work performance has not significantly changed.

Harassment and Hostility

Harassment, bullying, or creating a hostile work environment to deter the employee from continuing to engage in protected activities.

Isolation and Exclusion

Employees may be intentionally isolated or excluded from important meetings, projects, or social activities.

Changes in Job Duties or Schedule

Altering an employee’s job duties, schedule, or working conditions in a way that negatively impacts their job performance or career advancement.

Salary Reduction or Denial of Benefits

Reducing an employee’s salary or denying them access to benefits or opportunities for professional development.

Unwarranted Disciplinary Actions

Unjustified disciplinary actions, such as suspensions or written warnings.

Reassignment to Undesirable Tasks

Employees may be reassigned to less desirable tasks or responsibilities as a means of retaliation, undermining their job satisfaction and career progression.

Spreading False Rumors

Spreading false rumors or misinformation about an employee to damage their reputation or credibility within the organization.

Threats and Intimidation

Employees may experience threats or intimidation from supervisors or coworkers as a way to discourage them from engaging in protected activities or speaking out against wrongdoing.

How to Handle Workplace Retaliation

Here are steps to consider if you believe you’re experiencing retaliation in the workplace:

Know Your Rights

Seek legal advice from an experienced Los Angeles workplace retaliation lawyer. They can provide guidance on your rights, assess the merits of your case, and advise you on the best course of action.

Document Everything

Keep detailed records of any incidents of retaliation, including dates, times, witnesses, and relevant communications. Documentation can strengthen your case and provide evidence if you need to take legal action.

Address the Issue Internally

Consider addressing the retaliation with your employer or HR department through formal or informal channels. Follow the company’s grievance procedures and document any interactions or responses.

File a Complaint

If internal resolution is not feasible or effective, consider filing a formal complaint with the appropriate regulatory agency, such as California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution

Explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve the issue outside court. A skilled mediator can facilitate constructive dialogue and help reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

File a Lawsuit

If all other avenues fail to address the retaliation, you may consider filing a lawsuit against your employer for retaliation. Your employment lawyer in Los Angeles can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and represent you in court if necessary.

Retaliation can be emotionally and psychologically challenging. Practice self-care, seek support from friends and family, and consider talking to a mental health professional if needed.