Protecting Worker's Rights with Honesty and Precision
Experienced Retaliation Attorneys in Santa Clarita, CA
Employment Lawyers Serving the Santa Clarita Valley
Given the complexities of state and federal employment laws, it’s more imperative than ever for California employees to understand and exercise their rights in the workplace. At Markson Pico LLP, our dedicated workplace retaliation attorneys have extensive experience representing wronged workers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, from discrimination to sexual harassment to wrongful termination.
Whether you’ve been mistreated on the basis of gender, age, pregnancy, or other protected characteristic under the EEOC, our experienced employment lawyers can help you assert your right to a safe workplace free of harassment and discrimination. You can rest assured that our firm understands firsthand how terrifying, confusing, and discouraging it can be to face retaliation on part of an employer—especially for workers who are reluctant to speak up for fear of not being believed or jeopardizing their financial security.
Fortunately, our accomplished employer retaliation lawyers have over 50 years of experience safeguarding the rights of wronged workers in Santa Clarita and beyond. If you’ve experienced any form of misconduct or wrongdoing at your place of work, it’s essential to speak up now to avoid suffering the unjust consequences of an employer’s illegal behavior. Every employee can and should exercise their right to a work environment free of discrimination—and more importantly, the right to report workplace misconduct without being retaliated against by a boss or employer.
Were you retaliated against by a California company? Contact us online to discuss your case with a trusted Santa Clarita employment lawyer.
Workplace Retaliation Laws in California
In California, workplace retaliation is defined as any negative or harmful action by an employer against an employee who decides to report an act of misconduct. The misconduct isn’t limited to discrimination or harassment, as it can extend to any form of illicit workplace behavior.
It’s worth noting that employees are protected from retaliation even if the report doesn’t pertain to them specifically, such as a worker who reports sexual harassment against a coworker or manager, as the same laws apply. In fact, even workers who experience retaliation for simply knowing of or witnessing another employee’s report can file a workplace retaliation lawsuit against the offending party.
Various state and federal laws protect California workers against retaliation in the workplace, including:
- Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – As California's primary anti-discrimination law, FEHA prohibits discrimination and retaliation based on protected characteristics, including race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, and age. It covers employers with 5+ employees and provides broad protections against retaliation for engaging in protected activities, such as opposing discriminatory practices or filing a complaint.
- California Labor Code – The California Labor Code contains provisions that protect employees from retaliation in various contexts. For example, §1102.5 prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report violations of laws, regulations, or government waste, whereas §6310 protects employees who report unsafe working conditions to OSHA from retaliation. §98.6 also prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their employee rights, such as filing a wage claim or cooperating in an investigation.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – This Act prohibits retaliation for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The ADA prohibits retaliation against individuals who assert their rights under the ADA or oppose discriminatory actions.
- The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) – This federal law protects employees over 40 years of age from retaliation for opposing age discrimination or participating in related proceedings.
- Whistleblower Protection Laws – California has several laws that protect employees who blow the whistle on illegal activities or violations of public policies from retaliation, including 1) the Whistleblower Protection Act, which protects public employees from retaliation for reporting improper governmental activities; and 2) the False Claims Act, which protects workers who report fraudulent claims against the government.
Our Retaliation Lawyers Can Safeguard Your Employee Rights
While many mistakenly assume that employer retaliation is limited to blatant behaviors, this is not the case. Sadly, 51% of California workers confess to fearing employer retaliation when they consider reporting an act of workplace misconduct, indicating a serious power imbalance in Santa Clarita workplaces. To make matters worse, the majority of workers who report misconduct in California workplaces (53.7%) experience some form of retaliation from their employer afterward.
While numerous state and federal labor laws protect against workplace retaliation, such laws are only effective when utilized accordingly. That’s where our Santa Clarita employment lawyers come in. Our exceptional firm has a successful track record representing workers in a range of retaliation cases, including (but not limited to):
- Wrongful termination – Wrongful termination occurs when an employer unlawfully terminates an employee's employment in response to protected employee activities (such as reporting misconduct at work). Because it entails adverse employment action taken against an employee for exercising their legal rights, wrongful termination is considered a form of workplace retaliation.
- Suspending overtime – In California, suspending overtime can potentially be considered a form of workplace retaliation under certain circumstances. While suspending overtime alone may not be considered retaliation 100% of the time, it is considered retaliatory when committed in response to employees engaging in legally protected activities.
- Withholding pay – Another form of retaliation entails an employer withholding employees’ wages in response to them exercising legally protected rights. Under California law, withholding pay as a means of punishment or penalty for legally protected activities is illegal.
- Discriminating against employees – Discriminating against workers in response to them reporting an act of misconduct or otherwise exercising their employee rights is considered retaliation in California, meaning that employees wronged in this manner reserve the right to file a retaliation lawsuit against the offending employer.
- Harassing employees – Obvious or otherwise, any form of harassment is considered workplace retaliation when committed in response to workers exercising their rights under state and federal employment laws.
- Demotion or wage reduction – Demoting or reducing the wages of an employee who reports workplace misconduct or otherwise exercises legally protected rights is also considered a form of retaliation in California.
- Suspending employee benefits – Penalizing workers who speak out against workplace misconduct by reducing or eliminating their employee benefits is illegal in California, as such acts are generally considered employer retaliation.
- Unexplained relocations – Unexplained relocation can be a type of workplace retaliation in California. When an employer unilaterally and unreasonably relocates an employee without a legitimate business reason and/or in response to the employee engaging in lawful activities, this can be considered a form of workplace retaliation.
Protecting Against Employer Retaliation in Santa Clarita
Our compassionate legal team at Markson Pico LLP can help you assert your employee rights and make your voice heard after experiencing an act of workplace misconduct. From unpaid wages to severance agreements, our Santa Clarita employment lawyers are renowned advocates when it comes to providing the high-quality counsel and strong representation that hardworking Californians rightfully deserve.