Silicon Valley Retaliation Attorneys

Silicon Valley Retaliation Attorneys

Silicon Valley Retaliation Attorneys

California Employment Law Attorney Assisting Clients with Retaliation Claims

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.

What is Retaliation in Silicon Valley?

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:

  • Filing a discrimination claim or lawsuit;
  • Being a witness in a discrimination claim or lawsuit;
  • Raising or reporting a concern about employment discrimination, harassment, or unlawful termination to a manager or supervisor or to human resources;
  • Responding to questions during a harassment investigation;
  • Resisting the sexual advances of a supervisor, manager, co-worker, or other individual in the workplace;
  • Intervening to protect another person in the workplace from unwanted sexual advances;
  • Requesting a disability accommodation;
  • Requesting an accommodation for a religious practice;
  • Seeking information about co-workers’ salaries in order to determine whether equal pay laws are being violated; and/or
  • Refusing to follow orders from a supervisor or manager because those orders would result in discrimination or discriminatory conduct.

Forms of Retaliation in Silicon Valley Workplaces

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:

  • Reprimanding the employee;
  • Giving the employee a low performance evaluation;
  • Transferring the employee to a position that is less desirable;
  • Verbally abusing the employee;
  • Physically abusing the employee;
  • Threatening to report the employee to authorities (for reasons such as the employee’s immigration status);
  • Increasing scrutiny over the employee;
  • Spreading false rumors about the employee;
  • Treating a family member negatively (e.g., canceling an agreement with one of the employee’s family members); and/or
  • Taking steps to make the employee’s work more difficult, such as changing the employee’s work schedule to make family responsibility more challenging or impossible.

Contact a Silicon Valley Retaliation Attorney

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.


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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