Challenging Retaliation By An Employer

Often referred to as "whistleblowing," retaliation is generally defined as the employer taking an adverse employment action (such as termination or demotion) against an employee because the employee engaged in a "protected activity." Federal and California state laws prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports or opposes various types of misconduct in the workplace.

At Le Clerc & Le Clerc LLP, in San Francisco, our lawyers help clients throughout Northern California challenge retaliation by an employer.

Were You Engaging In Activity Protected By Law?

"Protected activity" is a broadly defined term, and encompasses many different types of behavior by the employee. For example, some common types of protected activity consist of an employee's formal or informal complaints to a supervisor about workplace harassment or discrimination, reporting unsafe or illegal working conditions to a supervisor or outside government agency, requesting a reasonable accommodation because of a disability, complaining about unlawful pay practices, or opposing an employer's illegal conduct. Even an employee's threat to file a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC or DFEH is "protected activity" and therefore conduct protected by the anti-retaliation laws.

The employee need not be aware that the conduct about which he or she complains is in fact unlawful. Generally speaking, so long as the employee had a reasonable and good faith belief that the employer's conduct was unlawful, then the employee should be protected from retaliation.

Which Laws Apply To Your Case?

There are many laws that protect an employee from workplace retaliation by the employer. Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act protect an employee from retaliation in connection with asking for a reasonable accommodation to address a disability or reporting workplace discrimination or harassment (or for even participating in investigations thereof by the employer or a government agency). The California Labor Code provides whistleblower protection to an employee who reports or complains of unsafe working conditions or the employer's unlawful conduct such as illegal wage and hour practices (failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, or improperly classifying a true employee as an independent contractor, for example).

Have You Been Unlawfully Retaliated Against?

At Le Clerc & Le Clerc LLP in San Francisco, our attorneys understand how to apply the various laws that prohibit retaliation in the workplace. If you believe that you have been subject to unlawful retaliation by your employer, then contact us online or call 415-445-0900 to speak with an attorney.