Experienced Employment Law Firm Aggressively Representing Employees Who Were Punished for Engaging in Protected Activity in Los Angeles and Orange County

State and federal laws prohibit employers from firing or taking any other adverse action against an employee for engaging in legally protected activity. However, Los Angeles employers routinely misunderstand—or blatantly disregard—their legal obligations and fire, demote, transfer, or otherwise take action that negatively affects an employee’s job. This unlawful employment practice is referred to as retaliation.

At the Hardin Law Group, our Los Angeles and Orange County retaliation lawyer is committed to advocating on behalf of workers who were unfairly punished by their employers for taking part in legal, protected activities. While every case we handle is extremely important to us on both a personal and professional level, so is the broader message that Los Angeles employment retaliation lawsuits send to employers—that they cannot cover up unlawful employment practices by punishing those employees who bring them to light.

How Does California Law Define Workplace Retaliation?

Under California law, retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity. Retaliation can include any negative job outcome initiated by an employer, such as a demotion, disciplinary proceedings, termination, a negative performance review, a salary reduction, an undesirable transfer, or a change in your position or shift assignment.

What Activities Are Protected Under California’s Retaliation Law?

Under California Labor Code § 98.6, an employer is prohibited from retaliation, discrimination, and any adverse employment for the following:

  1. Exercising any right under the Labor Code;
  2. Filing or participating in a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE);
  3. Whistleblowing;
  4. Filing a workers’ compensation claim;
  5. Participating in political activity;
  6. Participating in a civil suit against an employer;
  7. Claiming an employer violated state or federal wage and hour laws.

The law also protects you from retaliation when you report workplace discrimination or harassment to your boss or to an outside body like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In fact, as long as you made the claim in good faith, you are protected even if the claim turns out to be untrue.

Retaliation laws also protect employees who cooperate in EEOC investigations as whistleblowers. A whistleblower is an employee who discloses information that they reasonably believe is evidence of illegality, abuse of power, general wrongdoing, etc. The experienced Los Angeles employment attorneys at the Hardin Law Group can help you determine if you qualify for whistleblower protection under California or federal law.

What Is the Difference Between Retaliation and Whistleblowing?

Retaliation and whistleblowing claims are often brought at the same time, as they can be closely connected, but they are two distinct claims. Retaliation occurs when your employer takes an adverse action against you because you engaged in a protected activity, like filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits or reporting workplace discrimination to your supervisor. Whistleblowing occurs when you report your employer’s illegal activities to a government agency, including law enforcement.

Damages Available in a Los Angeles Retaliation Lawsuit

Employees who successfully bring a retaliation claim in Los Angeles or Orange County are entitled to recover monetary damages from their employer. Of course, what you are able to recover from your employer for retaliating against you will vary depending on the law your employer violated. However, as a general rule, the Los Angeles retaliation attorneys at the Hardin Law Group regularly request the following damages on behalf of our clients:

  • Reinstatement;
  • Back pay;
  • Liquidated damages equal to double the amount of back pay;
  • Front pay (future wages you won’t earn because of the retaliation);
  • Punitive damages;
  • Your attorney’s fees.

Speak with a Los Angeles Employee Rights Lawyer About Your Retaliation Case Today

If you have taken the risk of reporting discrimination, harassment, unfair wages, or another type of illegal behavior in the workplace, and your employer retaliated against you, reach out to the Hardin Law Group today. Attorney James Hardin has more than 25 years of hands-on experience representing employees—and only employees—in all types of employment disputes, including retaliation and wrongful termination claims. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call our Los Angeles employment lawyer at 310-606-2122. You can also connect with our Orange County employment attorney by calling 949-337-4810. Calling is free, and we will not accept payment for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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