Employees in the San Francisco Bay Area have a right to be free from unlawful retaliation. Employees may know that they are protected against discrimination in the workplace, but they may not know that they also have protections against retaliation when an employer takes an adverse action for retaliatory reasons. Sometimes retaliation is overt and obvious, and sometimes an employer engages in behavior that may not immediately look like retaliation but does in fact amount to an adverse action taken against the employee for unlawful reasons.
Unlawful retaliation may occur after an employee has filed a discrimination complaint or has participated in a discrimination or harassment investigation. Our San Francisco Bay Area retaliation lawyers can help with your case.
What is unlawful retaliation in the San Francisco Bay Area? While this term might have many uses or meanings outside of the employment law context, it specifically refers to an adverse action taken by an employer against an employee to retaliate for an employee’s reporting of, or refusal to participate in, an employer’s unlawful conduct. Often, this involves a situation in which an employee suffers an adverse employment action for employment discrimination or harassment, or for participating as a witness in a discrimination or harassment investigation.
Retaliation can take many different forms, some are more obvious than others. Examples of retaliation include but are not limited to the following:
Generally speaking, under state law, an adverse employment action is an action or pattern of conduct that negatively affects the terms, conditions, or privileges of the employee’s employment, including actions that are reasonably likely to impair an employee’s job performance or prospects for advancement.
Retaliation is prohibited by numerous federal laws, depending upon the reason for the retaliation. The following are examples of federal laws that protect employees against retaliation at work:
If an employee wants to file a claim of retaliation in violation of federal laws protecting employees who report unlawful discrimination or harassment, she or he must file with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Similar to federal laws, California also has laws that prohibit retaliation against employees who have objected to or refused to participate in unlawful discrimination or harassment. In most cases, an employee will file a retaliation claim under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
California law provides greater protections to employees against discrimination in some situations, and as such may provide greater protection against workplace retaliation depending upon the facts of the case.
If you need help filing a retaliation complaint or defending against one, our team of San Francisco Bay Area retaliation attorneys can get started on your case today. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.