Employment Retaliation

Retaliation is an act by an employer, either economically tangible or more subtle, in an attempt to have an adverse affect on an employee who has objected to sexual harassment, discrimination, or other illegal activity. Retaliation may also occur where a woman has taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

One type of retaliation is where the victim can show a tangible adverse employment action including wrongful termination, a pay-cut, or another demonstrable act that caused economic injury or significantly altered the terms and conditions of the employment relationship.

If you complained about an employer’s illegal actions and were transferred to a different location or you lost certain benefits, you could claim that you suffered from an act of retaliation. Retaliation also includes more subtle acts, such as changes to your work shift. The court will look at the context and the particular circumstances surrounding your claim to determine the effects of an act of retaliation. You may have had child care needs and now a retaliatory shift change prevents you from managing those needs.

Whistleblower Law

Whistleblower law protects certain people who take an affirmative step to object to a practice that violates a law, rule, or regulation. For instance, an individual who objects to sexual harassmentpregnancy discrimination, and other illegal activities would likely be protected by California’s whistleblower laws.

Most employers are savvy enough not to fire a whistleblower outright. Commonly, a worker is suddenly cited for poor performance or insubordination. As the black marks accumulate in the personnel file, the employee may be passed over for raises and promotions, demoted or transferred, and eventually fired.