Under state and federal laws, employees are protected from employer retaliation. In California, retaliation is considered to be “any adverse employment action resulting from an individual opposing practices prohibited by the FEHA or an individual who filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) or Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or their staffs.”
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Equal Pay Act (EPA) are federal laws that prohibit retaliation in the workplace. Retaliation made by an employer, employment agency, or labor organization that resulted from an employee’s involvement in protected activity is forbidden by these laws. According to a United States Supreme Court ruling, a retaliation claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act could surface from any employer action that would discourage an employee from making a charge of discrimination.
If an employee wants to establish the basic components of an employer retaliation case, they must show that they engaged in a “protected activity”, experienced a negative employment action, and that there was a link between the protected activity and the negative employment action. After these components have been established, the employer must offer a legitimate reason for the adverse employment action. If the employer is successful in offering a legitimate reason, then there is no longer a presumption of retaliation. The burden will then move to the employee who wrongfully tried to prove retaliation.
Have You Been Fired or Punished for Asserting a Protected Right at Work?
If you believe that your company has retaliated against you for asserting or using your rights as an employee, contact an employment law attorney at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP for a free evaluation of your case. We represent clients in San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Orange County, and other cities throughout California.