Retaliatory Discharge

California Employment Laws and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee because: 

  • The employee opposes practices forbidden by the FEHA, such as discrimination or harassment.
  • The employee filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any court proceeding related to a FEHA claim.
  • The employee is a whistleblower.

Retaliatory Discharge Law

If you wish to bring a claim for retaliation against your employer or former employer, then you  must prove the following: 

  • You were engaged in a protected activity
  • You were subjected to an adverse employment action 
  • A causal link exists between the protected activity and the employer’s action

Once a prima facie case is established by an employee, the employer has to provide a legitimate, non-retaliatory explanation for the adverse employment action. 

Retaliatory Discharge

Which California employee activities are protected?

An employee is protected from retaliatory activity when doing the following:

  • Engaging with the employer for a reasonable accommodation.
  • Filing a complaint, testifying, or assisting the DFEH or other state or federal agencies
  • Filing an internal complaint with their employer
  • Helping a person who is seeking the advice of the DFEH
  • Opposing practices the employee believes violate the law.
  • Refusing to carry out an order because the employee believes that it is forbidden by the FEHA
  • Requesting CFRA/FMLA leave.
  • Requesting time off for a disability
  • Seeking the advice of the DFEH

Who can file a retaliatory claim?

A retaliation claim may be brought by an employee who has complained about or opposed conduct that the employee reasonably believes to be discriminatory. A retaliation claim can only be brought against the employer, and an employee cannot sue the person who retaliated against them.

How can I prove retaliatory discharge?

Employees can prove they were retaliated against or discharged unfairly by establishing that the employer was aware that the employee engaged in protected activities and that the adverse action followed soon afterward.

What Does Retaliation Look Like?

Some telltale signs that your employer might be retaliating against you may include:

  • Your workload has increased
  • You are assigned to less desirable shifts
  • Your supervisors exclude you from meetings or correspondence or otherwise make it difficult for you to perform well on your projects
  • You are denied a promotion or raise that you think you deserved relative to other co-workers
  • You are subject to disciplinary action on inadequate grounds
  • You are denied access to resources that would help you improve your work quality or advance your career

Anti-Retaliation Laws

The following laws were put in place to limit retaliatory acts:

  • Fair Employment and Housing Act
  • California Labor Code Sections 1102.5 and 98.6
  • Labor Code 132a-Workers’ Compensation Laws Prohibit Retaliation

Protect Yourself Against Unlawful Retaliation

If your employer carries out any type of retaliatory action, you are in a position to launch a full-fledged lawsuit with the help of your retaliation attorney. If you believe that you are being subject to retaliatory actions from your employer, the first step is to speak with an attorney at Falakassa Law, P.C.

Call 916-680-8486 to speak with an employment lawyer today!