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California Protects Workers from Employer Retaliation

retaliation claim

The legal framework for workers in California provides numerous rights to fair pay, fair treatment, and a safe workplace, along with strong protections for employees from employer retaliation for exercising those rights. Retaliation can occur when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for exercising their legal rights, such as taking family or medical leave, filing discrimination or wage complaints, participating in workplace investigations, raising concerns to employers, performing jury service, and countless other protected activities. Numerous federal and California laws include protections against retaliation in their statutes. offer these protections. In this post, we’ll explore some of these laws and the remedies available to workers who are victims of unlawful retaliation. If you are a Southern California employee who has been the victim of wage theft, employment discrimination, or retaliation at work, call the attorneys at Ochoa & Calderón to review your potential claims with a team of experienced and dedicated Riverside employment lawyers.

Federal Protections: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who have participated in discrimination proceedings or opposed unlawful employment practices. This federal law applies to most employers with 15 or more employees, and it safeguards workers’ rights to a fair and just workplace.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

FEHA plays a vital role in protecting employees against retaliation for opposing harassment or discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and more. This state-level protection works alongside federal laws like Title VII to ensure comprehensive coverage. Importantly, FEHA has broader coverage than Title VII in the number of employees it reaches and the characteristics it protects.

California Labor Code 6310

Under California Labor Code 6310, employees are protected from retaliation for complaining about workplace safety or health conditions. Whether the complaint is filed with Cal/OSHA or directly to the employer, this provision ensures that workers can raise concerns without fearing negative consequences.

California Labor Code 230(e)

California Labor Code 230(e) focuses on protecting employees who take time off to serve as jurors. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who are summoned for jury duty, safeguarding the employee’s civic duty and their position within the workplace.

Other Applicable California Laws

Other relevant laws include:

  • Whistleblower Protection Act: Protects public employees who report violations of state or federal statutes.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) & California Family Rights Act (CFRA): Safeguards employees against retaliation for taking medical or family leave.

Remedies for Unlawful Retaliation

If you believe you are a victim of employer retaliation in California, you have several remedies at your disposal:

  • Filing a Complaint: Both federal and state agencies allow for the filing of retaliation complaints, providing a legal avenue to pursue justice.
  • Legal Action: Engaging an employment law attorney may lead to filing a lawsuit for monetary damages, including lost wages, emotional distress, and possibly even punitive damages.
  • Reinstatement: In some cases, the court may order reinstatement to your former position if you’ve been wrongfully terminated or demoted due to retaliation.

Legal Help Is Available to Fight Unlawful Employment Retaliation in Southern California

The legal framework in California, coupled with federal laws, offers robust protection to workers against employer retaliation in all aspects of employment, including wage and hour issues, discrimination and harassment, workplace safety, and more. Employees should be able to confidently exercise their rights, participate in investigations, raise concerns, or perform jury service without fear of retribution. If unlawful retaliation does occur, an employment law attorney can help you set matters right.

If you have questions or need assistance with an employer retaliation matter, the Riverside employment law firm Ochoa & Calderón is here to help. Our knowledgeable attorneys are committed to ensuring that workers’ rights are upheld and that employers are held accountable for unlawful actions. Share your concerns during a free consultation by calling 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 throughout Southern California. Our dedicated employment lawyers are here for you.

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