Employees have certain rights in the workplace when it comes to engaging in protected activities, such as taking advantage of laws that are designed to protect them from unlawful discrimination or to provide them with job-protected leave in the event of a disability or a serious illness. When an employer takes retaliatory action against an employee because she has engaged in a protected activity recognized as such under federal or state law, the employer can be held accountable for damages.
What is retaliation in Silicon Valley? It is any adverse action taken by an employer against an employee as a result of the employee’s participation in a protected activity. As we mentioned, the term protected activity is a broad one, and it can range from filing a discrimination complaint under federal or state law to simply exercising a right under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law. If you have questions about retaliation in the workplace, you should speak with a Silicon Valley retaliation attorney as soon as possible.
There are numerous federal and state laws that protect employees from retaliation for engaging in a protected activity. The federal laws that most often come into play in retaliation cases include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). If an employee is subject to retaliation for exercising a right under a federal law, that employee can file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Under California law, any state-based claims related to retaliation must be filed through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The DFEH explicitly states that the Fair Employment in Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits “retaliation against a person who opposes, reports, or assists another person to oppose unlawful discrimination.”
Retaliation can take many different forms, but the following are some common examples of reasons for unlawful retaliation cited by the EEOC:
While each retaliation claim will have its own elements, in general an employee alleging retaliation must be able to prove all of the following:
Retaliation claims can be complicated, and it is important to have an experienced Silicon Valley retaliation lawyer on your side. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP today for more information about how we can assist you.