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Employment law: Protected activities and workplace retaliation

| Jul 19, 2018 | Employment Law, Firm News |

Did you know that certain acts in which you engage as a California worker are protected under federal employment law? These are called protected activities and typically involve a worker reporting unlawful actions on the part of the company, a boss or a co-worker. We have included a few examples of protected activities as defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

  • Reporting employee harassment and/or discrimination
  • Being a plaintiff or a witness in an EEOC investigation, complaint, charge or lawsuit
  • Answering EEOC questions during an investigation into your employer
  • Intervening to prevent a coworker’s harassment or discrimination
  • Resisting any sexual advances someone makes against you

At this point, we usually hear one important comment from wronged workers in our state: What if exercising your protected activity rights gets you fired or harassed? We know what you mean. Even though it is 100 percent against the law for your supervisors or coworkers to retaliate against you for exercising your EEOC rights, they often do so anyway.

While the EEOC explains this employment law issue clearly, some employers may feign innocence about retaliation laws or claim no retaliation occurred. Some forms of retaliation such as negative performance reviews or a sudden uncomfortable work environment may be difficult to identify, but with legal advice, it is possible to clarify these employment issues and get the legal help you need to protect your rights.

The federal government takes pride in the work it has done to improve employment law across the nation. Exercising your rights under these laws helps make them stronger, which improves working conditions for all Americans. We urge you to learn more about employment law and employer wrongdoing by visiting our firm’s website.