Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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What is a retaliation case?

Retaliation happens when an employer punishes an employee for participating in an activity that is protected by law. An employee may just be doing what would normally be expected in a situation, like filing for workers' compensation after an accident, but an employer may take the opportunity to retaliate.

Retaliation is against the law and may come in many forms including:

  • Increasing scrutiny of the employee
  • Transferring the employee to a position that is less desirable
  • Spreading false rumors about the employee
  • Reprimanding the employee
  • Making the person's work more difficult, such as changing the person's work schedule to conflict with other responsibilities
  • Engaging in physical or verbal abuse of the employee

There are a number of actions that are unlawful to retaliate against. Some examples include when employees:

  • Answer questions during investigations of their employers
  • Refuse to follow orders that cause discrimination
  • Request reasonable accommodations for religious purposes or for a disability
  • Ask managers about their salary to determine if there are discriminatory wage practices taking place
  • Refuse the sexual advances of another in the workplace or intervene to help another
  • Communicate with their supervisors about potential discrimination and harassment in the workplace

As an employee, it's important to know which actions are protected. If your complaint falls under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's requirements, then you should be shielded against retaliation. Keep in mind that having a complaint in process with the EEOC won't completely shield you against discipline or discharge if the employer can show motivations for those actions that are not discriminatory or retaliatory.

What happens if you're terminated because of retaliation?

If you believe that you've been terminated as a result of retaliation from your employer, it's important that you take steps to document any evidence you have and to prepare it for your attorney. You may have a wrongful termination case and a case where you can claim that your employer took retaliatory actions.

Some items you may want to have to help your case include:

  • Witness statements, names and information
  • Emails or digital interactions that contain the offending material
  • Videos or photographs of retaliatory actions

Your attorney will talk to you more about what you need when you file a case against your employer for retaliation. Retaliation creates a hostile work environment and should not be tolerated. Don't hesitate to report your situation if you believe you're a victim of retaliation.

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