Northridge Retaliation Lawyers
Were You Treated Unfairly at Work? We Can Help.
Workplace retaliation frequently harms employees from diverse backgrounds as well as those who speak up about injustices at work. While illegal retaliation isn’t what most people expect it to be, it can victimize nearly anyone in the workplace. If you think your employer unlawfully retaliated against you, you should seek legal counsel from experienced employment lawyers.
Our legal team at K2 Employment Law can help. We have decades of combined legal experience when it comes to helping people with employment law violation claims in Southern California. We understand the harm and frustration that comes with being a victim of unlawful treatment by one’s employer, which is why we’re dedicated to providing tenacious advocacy for our clients. If your employer has illegally cut your hours, cut your pay, or treats you negatively for an unlawful reason, you may have a retaliation claim.
What Is Workplace Retaliation?
Workplace retaliation refers to adverse actions taken by an employer against an employee in response to the employee's protected activity or assertion of their legal rights. It occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in behavior that is legally protected.
In most cases, retaliation occurs as a result of discrimination, harassment, or because an employee reported – or participated in an investigation of – a violation of one’s employment rights.
Retaliation can take various forms, including:
- Reduction in pay
- Denial of promotions or benefits
- Negative performance evaluations
- Hostile work environment.
Protected activities that can trigger retaliation include:
- Reporting illegal activities: Employees who report or whistleblow on illegal activities, such as fraud, safety violations, discrimination, or harassment, are protected from retaliation.
- Asserting legal rights: Employees who assert their legal rights, such as filing a complaint with a government agency (e.g., EEOC), requesting reasonable accommodations for disabilities, or invoking Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections, are protected from retaliation.
- Participating in investigations: Employees who participate in investigations related to workplace misconduct, discrimination, or other legal matters are protected from retaliation.
It's important to note that retaliation is illegal and prohibited under various federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and others.
If you believe you have experienced retaliation, it is advisable to consult with an employment attorney who can evaluate your situation and help you understand your rights and legal options.
What are Protected Characteristics in California?
In California, protected characteristics include the following:
- Skin Color
- Sex and Gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and any related medical conditions)
- Gender Identity or Expression
- Sexual Orientation
- Marital Status
- Medical Condition
- Military or Veteran Status
- National Origin
- Disability Status (including HIV/AIDS status)
- Genetic Information
- Age (40 or older)
Experiencing unfair treatment at work because of discrimination against any of these protected characteristics may be considered harassment. If your employer punishes you for a reason based on one of these reasons, however, you may have a claim for workplace retaliation. You can consult with our retaliation attorneys in Northridge to learn more.
What Does Workplace Retaliation Look Like?
Workplace retaliation can take on many forms, but it ultimately manifests as any sort of employment-based punishment an employer can inflict upon an employee.
Common examples of workplace retaliation include the following:
- Reducing hours
- Reducing wages
- Failure to promote
- Demoting an employee
- Providing an unfairly negative performance review
- Changing an employee’s schedule to a less desirable shift
Illegal workplace retaliation can also culminate in wrongful termination, which occurs when an employee is terminated or selected during a layoff for any of the aforementioned illegal reasons.
Retaliation & Protected Workplace Activities
Employees may also incur retaliation from employers when they engage in certain protected workplace activities. Things such as discussing wages, reporting sexual harassment, speaking up about discrimination, affiliating oneself with a union, and reporting an employer’s illegal behavior are all activities protected by state and federal laws.
Should an employer retaliate against an employee for any such reason, they may be held accountable for unlawful retaliation. If you aren’t sure if you were punished for engaging in a protected workplace activity, our retaliation lawyers in Northridge can assess your claim.
Not All Retaliation at Work Is Unlawful
Workplace retaliation doesn’t mean punishing an employee for any reason the employee thinks is unfair. For example, an employer may be within their rights to cut an employee’s hours or deny them a promotion when the employee is consistently late to work.
Legally, retaliation must be based on discrimination or punishing an employee for engaging in a protected workplace activity. If the same employer cuts the employee’s hours because they have a disability that makes it difficult to arrive at work on time, then this might be considered illegal retaliation.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
K2 Employment Law is dedicated to fighting for clients who need to hold their employers accountable for unfair and unlawful treatment at work. We believe no one should be punished for an illegal reason by their employer, and we’ll strive to help each client achieve the best possible outcome for their claim.
Learn more during a free initial consultation. Send K2 Employment Law a message online to get started.