Can my employer fire me if I file a discrimination claim?

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Can my employer fire me if I file a discrimination claim?

No, employers cannot fire an employee who files an employment discrimination claim. If an employer does so, they are engaging in illegal retaliation.

Employees may fear that if they file a claim, their employer will fire them, transfer them to another position or otherwise make their work life more difficult. However, an employee’s decision to exercise their rights by filing a claim against an employer cannot be used by the employer in any way to negatively impact an employee’s job. This includes terminating the employee; however, it also includes other forms of adverse employment action, including:

  • Transferring the employee to a less desirable position;
  • Increasing the level of supervision over the employee;
  • Reducing an employee’s benefits or pay; or
  • Denying an employee’s reasonable requests that should have been granted.

To prove a retaliation claim, an employee must be able to show:

  1. They reported discrimination to the employer, its human resources department, or any supervisor or person in authority; participated in an investigation; or filed a complaint with the government agency or court.
  2. The employer took some adverse employment action against the employee; and
  3. The employer took the adverse action because the employee reported discrimination. For example, the employer may fire you for no good cause. If an employee who protested discrimination is supposedly fired for poor performance, but never received any write-ups or has a good performance history overall, then a court may decide that that the termination was retaliatory. Or if the employee is “laid off” but their job was re-posed, then the employer’s excuse looks like a pretext for firing an employee who complained of discrimination.

Contact a dedicated Bay Area employment law attorney for further help.

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Client testimonials

I can honestly say that my experience with Bryan was all the way positive from day one… We had very high expectations about our case and in the end we got what we hoped for. – Roger J.

Roger J.

This law firm was the only one to answer the phone out of the 15-20 law firms that I called that day. I had a wrongful termination case and Bryan really took the time to listen and understand what happened in my situation, and he knows the law to a T. – Shanic M.

Shanic M.

I was owed wages and overtime and my employer refused to pay me. So I hired them to file a lawsuit. Bryan easily understood my very complicated case and I am happy with the results. – Ebi Z.

Ebi Z.

I didn’t have to pay anything, the firm took the whole risk of managing the case. Through the 14 months, Bryan always kept me updated, was very responsive and patient to questions I had. We achieved a resolution out of court in my favor, making me even happier about the experience. – Peter S.

Peter S.

I won my trial and I got more than I expected. Everyone in the office is so nice and helpful. Even after everything was finished I could call a few weeks after and ask questions to make sure I was protected and they are more than helpful. – Husain N.

Husain N.

I never had to pay Bryan anything up front, nor was ever pressured to settle early. We ended up settling morning of the trial. Bryan is a really sharp, aggressive, seasoned attorney and knew the law inside and out about whistleblower cases. – Kyle B.

Kyle B.

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