Both federal and state law protect California employees from workplace discrimination and harassment. However, many people are reluctant to make use of these protections because they are afraid of reprisal by their employers. Anti-discrimination laws include provisions to protect you against workplace retaliation for engaging in a protected activity. This doesn’t mean you won’t be retaliated against by your employer in connection with a discrimination or harassment matter, but you can sue for damages if you are. If you suspect you’ve been subject to an adverse employment action for engaging in a protected activity such as reporting sexual harassment or filing a charge of racial discrimination, an experienced El Segundo retaliation lawyer may be able to help.Retaliation Under Federal Law
Multiple federal laws provide protection against retaliation. Each of the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Further, federal law provides protections from workplace retaliation in the event that you file a harassment or discrimination complaint at work. Additionally, federal law protects you from retaliation for filing a charge with the EEOC or providing testimony against your employer in a coworker’s discrimination or harassment lawsuit. However, the federal laws enforced by the EEOC mostly protect employees who work for medium-sized or large companies, and not all employers are covered by it.
Retaliation is the most common discrimination finding in federal cases arising out of workplace discrimination. Retaliation may be found even when a claimant is unable to establish discrimination or harassment, so long as the claimant had a good faith belief he or she was being discriminated or harassed at the time of complaining about it or engaging in another protected activity in connection with it. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for communicating with your supervisor or manager about employment discrimination, filing an EEOC charge, answering questions during an investigation of harassment, refusing to follow orders that would result in discrimination or asking for accommodation for a disability or religious practice. It’s important to be aware that your employer can discipline or terminate you for nonretaliatory and nondiscriminatory reasons. A skilled retaliation attorney in El Segundo can assess whether any adverse employment action you have been subjected to was legal.What Constitutes Retaliation Under FEHA?
Retaliation under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) occurs when an employer takes an adverse action against you for engaging in activities protected by FEHA. Retaliation is also illegal under state law if your employer penalizes you for reporting illegal actions, refusing to engage in illegal actions, filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner, reporting fraud, filing discrimination lawsuits, complaining of workplace harassment or discrimination and helping other employees in filing a lawsuit or making a complaint of illegal workplace activity.
If you were terminated in retaliation for exercising a protected right, you may file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Assuming your employer is covered by a federal law enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you can indicate that you want to cross-file with the EEOC. You can sue for wrongful termination after getting a right to sue letter from DFEH, and a seasoned El Segundo retaliation lawyer can help.
To establish a claim of retaliation under FEHA, Government Code section 12940(h), you’ll need to prove: (1) you engaged in a protected activity, (2) the defendant terminated, demoted or otherwise took an adverse employment action against you or that you were constructively discharged, and (3) your protected activity was a substantial motivating reason for the defendant to take that adverse employment action, (4) you were harmed, and (5) the defendant’s decision to take an adverse employment action against you was a substantial factor in causing you harm.Proof of Retaliation
When an adverse action such as termination or demotion is taken immediately or soon after you complain of discrimination or harassment, the closeness of the two events can help establish retaliation. However, there are other situations in which retaliation is not as clear.Consult an Experienced Retaliation Attorney in El Segundo
If your employer is retaliating against you in El Segundo or in the surrounding areas, a dedicated lawyer at the Calderone Law Firm may be able to provide you with tenacious and knowledgeable representation. We represent people in Torrance Beach and Los Angeles, as well as throughout Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Please call the Calderone Law Firm at (424) 348-8290 or contact us through our online form.