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Retaliation New

Federal law protects employees from retaliation when employees complain — either internally or to an outside body like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — about workplace discrimination or harassment. That’s true even if the claim turns out to be unfounded, as long as it was made in good faith.

An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability, as well as wage differences between men and women performing substantially equal work, also prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding.

In addition to the protections against retaliation that are included in all of the laws enforced by EEOC, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also protects individuals from coercion, intimidation, threat, harassment, or interference in their exercise of their own rights or their encouragement of someone else’s exercise of rights granted by the ADA.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

Click on each question for the answers.

What can be considered retaliation in the workplace?

An employee usually is retaliated against either for protesting illegal activity (when an employee has a reasonable belief that the employer is committing a wrongful act, such as allowing harassment or discrimination at work, failing to pay wages, or defrauding its employees or customers) or for refusing to participate in what the employee believes is a violation of a law or local, state, or federal regulation. An employee might also be retaliated against for taking a medical leave of absence to which they were entitled. Each of those scenarios are prohibited under the law. Retaliation can take many forms, such as demotion, pay cut, removal of job duties, transfer to a remote location, unwarranted discipline, and/or termination. The specific type of retaliation will vary from case to case. Consult with an attorney at Sansanowicz Law Group if you believe you have been retaliated against.

How does an employee deal with retaliation at work?

It depends on the form of retaliation and the reason(s) for the retaliation. If the employee believes the retaliation is confined to a single individual, the best course of action is to report the retaliation, in writing, to management (which includes human resources). This should be enough to trigger an investigation into the complaint. If the employee complains of retaliation and then experiences further retaliation (like discipline up to and including termination), it may be time to contact an attorney at Sansanowicz Law Group.

I was supposed to get a raise this year, but my boss didn’t give it to me, what can I do?

It depends. The law does not entitle you to a raise each year. However, if you did not receive the raise in retaliation for some sort of protected activity or because you are a member of a protected class of workers, that might be illegal. It may be that the best course of action is to talk to human resources or to a manager who is higher in the chain of command than your direct supervisor; perhaps your boss does not like you for personal – but not illegal – reasons. Consult with an attorney at Sansanowicz Law Group to know your rights and to help determine whether your situation rises to the level of an actionable offense. As with many things in employment law: it depends.

Can I be fired for filing a workers comp claim?

Firing someone for filing a worker’s compensation claim – or even signaling an intent to file a worker’s comp claim – is illegal and can increase the value of the employee’s compensation. Consult with a worker’s comp attorney.

Get a Free Legal Evaluation of Your Employment Rights Issue

If you feel that your rights may have been violated in the context of your employment, it may be in your best interests to talk to an experienced employees’ rights attorney who will explain your options and protect your legal rights.

Call our office for a free consultation (818) 639-8510

The Sansanowicz Law Group provides legal services to persons employed in the cities of Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Anaheim, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Oceanside, Temecula, Murrieta, Glendale, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Bakersfield, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Chula Vista, Inglewood, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Van Nuys, Orange County, San Diego County, Imperial County, Kern County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County, California.

The materials appearing on this website are provided for informational use only, and are in no way intended to constitute legal advice of this law firm or any of its attorneys. This website is considered attorney advertising.

Our website has been designed for informational purposes and should not cause you to form an expectation about the results that you may achieve based upon your potential legal claim or issue.

Sansanowicz Law Group
21031 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 701
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Tel: (818) 639-8510
Fax: (818) 639-8511



(818) 639-8510


(818) 639-8511


21031 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 701
Woodland Hills, CA 91364