Employment Law FAQ: What Employees Need to Know About Their Rights and Retaliation
Employment Law FAQ: What Employees Need to Know About Their Rights and Retaliation

Employment Law FAQ: What Employees Need to Know About Their Rights and Retaliation

Workers have the right to report employment law violations without the threat of retaliation. It is important to understand how these protections work and what you must do to secure them. Reports are only protected if the right information is disclosed to the right authorities. The experienced California employment lawyers at Minnis & Smallets are here to fight for you. We work hard to protect California workers from unlawful retaliation. Learn more about what retaliation is, who is protected, and what our lawyers can do to enforce your legal right to be free from retaliation in employment.  

What is Retaliation?

Retaliation is any adverse change to the terms and conditions of your employment. In the most drastic circumstances, retaliation can be the firing of a whistleblower, but there are many far more subtle ways for an employee to face retaliation. You might experience a pay cut or a demotion. You might not have opportunities for overtime, bonuses, or other compensation. You might not get opportunities for advancement within the company. You might even be assigned to shifts or tasks that are less desirable. If the change is for the worse, and it occurs because of protected whistleblowing, it is unlawful retaliation.

Who is Protected From Retaliation?

Not every change in employment is considered retaliation. For example: if an employee is fired for cause after stealing from the company, this is not retaliation. Retaliation must be the direct result of a protected disclosure. Protected disclosures include reports of unlawful workplace conduct to the appropriate authorities. These violations might be related to safety regulations, sexual harassment, or pay and overtime disputes. There are even special protections in specific fields of work. Workers in the financial sector can make protected reports of securities violations to the SEC, and aviation workers can report safety issues to the FAA without fear of retaliation. Be sure to consult with a lawyer about your specific situation so that you know all the whistleblower protections that protect you. 

How Do I Protect Myself From Retaliation?

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from retaliation is to hire your own employment lawyer as soon as possible. Ideally, you want legal advice before you make any reports of wrongdoing, even to your own employer. Your attorney will advise you on the best method and timing of the report to ensure that you have legal protection in place before it is made. Your attorney will also put your employer on notice that you are protected from retaliation by law. If you have already disclosed wrongdoing, it is not too late to get legal advice. Your attorney can intervene to advise your employer that you are being unlawfully retaliated against – and take legal action if it does not stop. 

The experienced employment lawyers at Minnis & Smallets have years of experience in protecting California workers from unlawful retaliation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a San Francisco employment law attorney. 

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