What is workplace retaliation? Retaliation refers to a situation in which an employer punishes a job applicant or a current employee for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting unlawful activity to a supervisor or human resources, filing a discrimination claim, filing an unlawful termination claim, or filing a sexual harassment claim. Retaliation can also occur when an employee refuses to participate in an unlawful activity in the workplace.
To learn more about employment retaliation in California and the ways it affects employees and employers, you should speak with a Silicon Valley retaliation attorney about your case.
Retaliation can take many different forms. In most circumstances, it involves punishing an employee with demotion or termination. According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination in the federal sector and the most common discrimination finding in federal sector cases.” Both federal laws and California state laws prohibit unlawful retaliation in the workplace.
As we mentioned, federal and state laws prohibit an employer from punishing a job applicant and/or current employee when he or she assets his or her legal right to report conduct that the employee reasonably believes to be discriminatory or retaliatory. When an employee asserts these rights, the assertion—in whatever form it takes, including filing a claim—is defined as “protected activity.” The following are some examples of protected activity:
What does retaliation look like? As we indicated, retaliation can take many different forms. Generally speaking, however, retaliation involves punishing an employee in some capacity for engaging in one of the modes of protected activity described above. The EEOC provides some of the following examples of workplace retaliation that can be unlawful when it results directly from the employee’s participation in protected activity:
If you are an employee and need advice about filing a retaliation claim, or if you are an employer and need assistance handling a retaliation case, an experienced retaliation lawyer in Silicon Valley can help. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.