employment law attorney

Can A California Employer Fire An Employee For Filing An Employment Lawsuit?

State and federal laws provide employees with broad workplace protections. Chief among these is the right to be free from discrimination and harassment and the right to be fairly paid for the work they perform. However, employees are also protected against any retaliatory actions an employer may take after the employee initiates a California employment lawsuit against an employer.

Employers cannot take any adverse employment action based on an employee’s protected characteristics. Under federal law, these protected classes include:

  • Age (if the employee is 40 and older)
  • Color
  • Citizenship status
  • Disability
  • Gender identity and gender expression
  • Genetic information
  • National origin
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Race
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

In addition, California anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from using the following criteria when making employment decisions:

  • Age (if the employee is 40 and older)
  • Aids/HIV
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Gender identity and gender expression
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Medical condition
  • Military or veteran status, and
  • National origin
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Political activities or affiliations
  • Race
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking

Employees must also be fairly compensated for the work they perform. This means most employers must pay their employees a minimum wage and provide overtime compensation for qualifying employees. When an employee believes that their employer violated their rights, they can file a California employment law claim against their employer.

Many employees are afraid to pursue a claim against their employer out of fear of what their employer will do. However, state and federal laws make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for enforcing their rights.

What Does California Employment Retaliation Look Like?

Employers often try to silence the employee, either by firing the employee or taking some other type of adverse action against them. While firing an employee after they file a California employment discrimination claim certainly qualifies as retaliation, so too do other steps an employer might take, such as:

  • Assigning the employee additional or more challenging work
  • Spreading false rumors about an employee in an effort to discredit them
  • Increasing the level of supervision over an employee
  • Denying a reasonable request for a workplace accommodation
  • Conducting an unfair or inaccurate employment review
  • Transferring an employee to another, less-desirable position
  • Denying an employee’s reasonable request for time off

Anytime an employee suffers negative consequences an employee experiences after reporting a workplace violation, it may be the basis for a retaliation claim.

What Actions Are Protected?

An employee who files an employment discrimination claim or wage-and-hour claim is protected from retaliation. However, the law provides broad protection to employees beyond this specific situation. Under state and federal laws, employees who engage in any of the following cannot be retaliated against:

  • Filing a report of workplace harassment;
  • Honestly answering questions during an internal or external investigation;
  • Refusing to go along with an employer’s actions that would result in discrimination against a fellow employee;
  • Resisting the sexual advances of another employee or supervisor;
  • Stepping in to help another employee who is experiencing workplace harassment or discrimination;
  • Electing to take qualified leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and
  • Making an official report of an employer’s illegal conduct.

Often, when faced with a retaliation lawsuit, employers will provide what sounds like a legitimate reason for their decision. This can make proving a claim more difficult. However, with a dedicated Bay Area employment lawyer’s assistance, employees may be able to expose their employer’s true motivations. To learn more visit https://bmcclaw.com/.

Read more

gender discrimination lawyer

Can California Employees Be Legally Fired For Not Conforming to Gender Stereotypes?

Your employer cannot fire you because they believe you do not fit within what they consider to be an acceptable stereotype. However, that does not necessarily stop employers. According to the National…

READ ARTICLE
wrongful termination attorney

Nurse Sues Hospital For Wrongful Termination After Complaining About COVID-19 Safety

A registered nurse filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his employer, saying he was fired last spring after expressing concerns about the hospital’s neglect of COVID-19 safety protocols. Firing an employee in…

READ ARTICLE
unpaid overtime lawyer

Wage Lawsuit Accuses Mortgage Company Of Unlawful Pay Practices

A common myth is that all commissioned employees can work unlimited hours without being paid overtime. While employees may not fully understand when they are entitled to overtime, sometimes employers themselves are…

READ ARTICLE
racial discrimination lawyer

San Francisco Transit Worker Claims Racial Harassment by Purported KKK Members

An Afro-Mexican man alleged that three of his coworkers on a San Francisco transit job site harassed him and refused to work with non-white employees. He was fired after complaining to his…

READ ARTICLE
SEEN ON
Fox40-bw
KPIX-bw
SFGate-bw
marin-ij
Abc10-bw