Unlawful retaliation occurs when an employer takes an “adverse action” (such as termination, failure to hire, and demotion) against an employee because s/he has exercised a “protected legal right.” Many state and federal laws protect employees from employer retaliation. Examples of protected legal rights include:

  • Complaining about harassment (including sexual harassment) or discrimination in the workplace;
  • Taking leave protected by FMLA / CFRA;
  • Requesting reasonable accommodations for your disability;
  • Complaining about unsafe working conditions;
  • Talking to your co-workers about your wages;
  • Filing a worker’s compensation claim;
  • Complaining about unpaid wages/commissions;
  • Participating in an investigation about harassment or discrimination;
  • Whistleblowing (alerting a governmental agency about your employer’s unlawful practices, such as calling OSHA or the Labor Commission).

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it unlawful employment practice for an employer to terminate an employee or discriminate against an employee because he or she opposed practices by the employer that violated their rights under FEHA or because he or she filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding brought under FEHA. Cal Gov Code § 12940. Further, an employee may not be retaliated against if the employee opposes activity by the employer which the employee believes reasonably and in good faith to be unlawful, even if the activity turns out to be lawful.

If you are experiencing retaliation in the workplace, know that you have options and Olivares Law, APC is here to help you. Contact OLIVARES LAW, APC today for a free consultation.