Defend Your Rights with a Workplace Retaliation Lawyer

You may already know that California state and federal laws protect you from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Many do not realize that the same laws also protect them from being penalized or terminated for specific protected activities, like filing discrimination complaints or reporting employers for illegal activities.

If you’re facing retaliation in the workplace for exercising your rights as an employee, contact Kent | Pincin in Redondo Beach, CA, today to speak with an experienced workplace retaliation lawyer about your case.

What Is Workplace Retaliation?

Workplace retaliation occurs when employers punish employees for participating in legally protected activities, such as filing harassment claims, reporting the business to the EEOC for discrimination, and more. 

Retaliation can include many negative or adverse employment actions, such as:

  • Demotion
  • Firing
  • Verbal threats
  • Salary reduction
  • Poor assignments
  • Constructive termination

Constructive termination involves forcing the employee to quit by making the workplace environment hostile. 

Essentially, if you exercise your legal rights as an employee and upset your employer by doing so, and they lash out and retaliate, you may need to contact a workplace retaliation lawyer. 

Why Do Employers Retaliate Against Workers?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the most common cause of workplace retaliation stems from discrimination reports against the employer. In 2013, 42% of the EEOC’s discrimination cases were based on retaliation. 

Beyond discriminatory claims, though, employers retaliate against workers for many reasons:

  • Harassment claims: Communicating with Human Resources teams or any other entities about a harassment claim can incite fear in employers, which could lead to retaliation. 
  • Illegal activity reporting: If you discover illegal activities in your workplace and report them, your employer could try to fire you before you can take further action. 
  • Refusal of romantic or sexual advances: Refusing to respond to sexual advances or other actions could lead to punishment in the workplace. 
  • Refusal to partake in illegal activities: If you do not want to participate in illegal activities, your employer could fire you or punish you in other ways. 
  • Disability requests: Requesting various accommodations for your disability could lead to retaliation. 
  • Maternity leave: Taking maternity leave, announcing your pregnancy, and requesting childcare accommodations could all spark unfair and discriminatory practices. 
  • Time off for protected events: Taking time off to exercise public rights, like voting, jury duty, military service, and more, could lead to retaliation.

What To Do If You’re Facing Workplace Retaliation

How you respond to instances of retaliation can greatly impact the outcome of your case. If you think you’re being retaliated against, we recommend the following:

  1. Remain calm: Your initial response may be to fight back against your employer and defend yourself. Unfortunately, doing so can only weaken your case. Instead, remain calm so your employer is painted in a negative light, not you.
  2. Contact a workplace retaliation lawyer: You must contact a workplace retaliation lawyer as soon as possible to develop a strong case. Your attorney will help you respond to actions from your employer in appropriate ways so you don’t accidentally accept unfair deals, like severance packages that look appealing but may revoke your right to sue.  Further, if additional steps are necessary, like filing a complaint with CRD or EEOC, an attorney can help you respond or write the complaint to ensure you are covering all your basis. 
  3. Keep track of everything: Keep documentation of absolutely everything relating to your job, the rights you exercised relating to your retaliation, and what your employer did. Documents could include emails between you and your employer, written notices, internal memos, and more.
  4. Do not discuss the matter online: You may feel tempted to immediately post bad reviews about your employer online to prevent others from experiencing what you went through. Your employer can use social media posts against you during a lawsuit, so you must keep everything offline. 
  5. Report the matter internally: If you still have your job and have not yet reported the matter internally, try using your job’s internal processes to see whether or not your company will do something about your complaint.

Understanding Your Rights as an Employee in California

The California Department of Industrial Relations outlines the rights you have as an employee in California regarding retaliation claims. According to California Common Law, California Labor Code 1102.5 LC, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the False Claims Act, and Workers’ Compensation, the following activities are protected:

  • Exercising family and medical leave rights
  • Refusing to commit a crime
  • Performing a statutory obligation, like jury duty
  • Reporting suspected criminal activities
  • Filing a discrimination or harassment complaint
  • Refusing to join in on acts of discrimination or harassment
  • Requesting disability or religious accommodations
  • Filing an unsafe working condition complaint
  • Refusing to work in unsafe conditions
  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim
  • And more

What Will an Attorney Do for My Retaliation Case?

To prove workplace retaliation, you must provide evidence showing that you engaged in a protected activity, your employer took adverse actions against you, and these two events were directly correlated. Proving these three elements can be more challenging than you realize. 

Your workplace retaliation lawyer will guide you through collecting evidence, citing California state and federal laws, responding to offers from your employer, and more to help with your claim.

Before you can file a lawsuit for discrimination under federal law, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission typically requires you to make a complaint; you have 180 days from the date of the discrimination to file a charge with the EEOC. The deadline is extended to 300 days if a local or state agency enforces a law that prohibits discrimination on the same basis.

Meet Our Attorneys

Michael J. Kent & Emily R. Pincin

Michael Kent was inspired to become an attorney by his passion for piecing together puzzles and information in his younger years. He loves nothing more than analyzing cases to piece together evidence and find out what a defendant is hiding, to obtain a positive outcome. Michael’s father, as well as his in-laws, are attorneys who have provided valuable mentorship and guidance relating to the civil justice system.

“I want to help people piece their lives back together and move forward. They deserve to be given a voice and feel protected whatever the circumstances.”

Emily Pincin was motivated to become an attorney by her affection for reading, writing, and understanding the intricacies of the law. Raised in a household with a court reporter mother, Emily familiarized herself with the justice system and became passionate about helping others through their most difficult times.

“Everything about what we do really comes down to helping the client feel that they can achieve a feeling of justification and peace. We are working to help them attain a sense of vindication.”

Emily and Michael

Why Choose Kent | Pincin To Help?

At Kent | Pincin, we’ve recovered millions in workplace retaliation claims for our clients. Our team fights for employee rights to help hard workers like you regain their voice without fear of punishment or wrongful termination. Whether you experienced retaliation upon harassment reporting or were fired for filing an EEOC complaint, we want to help you seek compensation for your damages.

Caring for our Clients

Contact Kent | Pincin for Your Workplace Retaliation Claim

At Kent | Pincin Law, we stand up for what’s right. If you think you’ve been retaliated against in the workplace, contact Kent | Pincin today at (310) 376-0922 to speak with an experienced workplace retaliation lawyer in Redondo Beach, CA. 

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