Marin County Retaliation Lawyer

Marin County Retaliation Lawyer

Marin County Retaliation Lawyer

Employment Law Attorney Assisting Marin County, California Clients in Retaliation Cases

Retaliation in the workplace is against the law in California, so there can be severe consequences if an employer punishes a current employee or job candidates for engaging in protected activities. While this general concept is relatively straightforward, many employees do not understand the far-reaching implications of federal and state statutes regarding retaliation.

At Minnis & Smallets, LLP, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in workplace retaliation cases in Marin County, CA and throughout the Bay Area. We can tell you more about your legal options after an initial case assessment, but some background information on retaliation claims in California may also be useful.

Overview of California Law on Retaliation Claims

California enacted the Fair Employment and Housing Act in part to prevent employers from retaliating against employees or prospective employees when they assert their legal right to a workplace free of discrimination or harassment.

FEHA only protects employees who object to discriminatory or related conduct in the workplace. An employee may have a claim for retaliation in the workplace where an employer sanctions him or her for engaging in a protected activity, such as:

  • Reporting discrimination or harassment to a supervisor or manager;
  • Reporting discrimination or harassment to the employer’s human resources department;
  • Filing a claim or lawsuit alleging discrimination or harassment;
  • Participating in legal proceedings in which the employer is being accused of discrimination or harassment, such as by being interviewed as a witness;
  • Providing information to officials engaged in a lawful investigation of workplace discrimination or harassment; Refusing orders from a manager or supervisor that would constitute discriminatory conduct;
  • Intervening to protect another employee from harassment or discrimination;
  • Requesting accommodation due to a disability;
  • Requesting accommodation for religious practices; or
  • Other actions taken to report or oppose discrimination or harassment.

Identifying Common Forms of Retaliation

While every case is different, there are certain types of actions that, if taken by an employer against an employee because the employee has objected to or refused to participate in discrimination or harassment,  are likely to be considered retaliatory.. They include:

  • Reducing the employee hours or salary;
  • Providing the worker with a poor performance review, or a performance review that is worse the review that the employee should have received;
  • Reporting unflattering information in the employee’s record;
  • Transferring the worker to an undesirable position;
  • Changing the employee’s work hours;
  • Physical abuse;
  • Intimidation and violence;
  • Threatening to report the employee to federal, state, or local officials, including immigration agencies; and
  • Other acts that are the equivalent of punishment for engaging in protected activities.

Not all conduct that punishes an employee is retaliatory, however. An employer may terminate, demote, or other penalize a work for legitimate reasons, such as poor performance or misconduct, so long as the employer is not doing so because the employee reported discrimination or harassment.

Remedies for a Retaliation Claim

An employee who is successful in establishing a retaliation claim may recover for the damages that the employee has suffered as a result of the employer’s unlawful conduct.  Recoverable damages include:

  • Back pay;
  • Front pay, or future wage loss;
  • Reinstatement of an employee who was terminated;
  • Compensation for emotional distress;
  • Punitive damages intended to punish the employer;
  • Attorneys’ fees;
  • Court costs; and
  • Other damages as appropriate.

Talk to a Marin County, CA Lawyer About Retaliation Issues

 If you have questions about employee rights and the legal obligations of employers in retaliation cases, our skilled Marin County, CA employment attorneys can help. Please call 1-415-551-0885 to reach the San Francisco offices of Minnis & Smallets, LLP. You can also visit us online to learn more about our legal services or set up a consultation regarding your case.


If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

  • Please note that we are not able to schedule a consultation with an attorney for every matter. If we are able to schedule a consultation, then the initial consultation will be at no charge unless we specifically advise otherwise prior to the consultation.

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