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Retaliation isn't always clear cut in California

Going to work is something that you should do without the fear of being harassed by coworkers or supervisors in any manner; however, for some employees, that isn't how things go. Sadly, some supervisors and coworkers might opt to harass you because of a variety of reasons. That harassment, however, isn't legal. You do have the right in California to take action against employers who take action against you because of reporting harassment.

Some employers choose to retaliate against employees who report harassment in the workplace. In some cases, the retaliation might be for other reasons, such as reporting illegal or unethical activities in the workplace. When that type of retaliation occurs, you might end up losing your job, being demoted or given a pay cut. None of those actions are legal when they are done in a retaliatory manner.

Proving cases of retaliation can be difficult since California is an at-will employment state. In some cases, employers don't have to give employees a reason for terminating the employee. That doesn't mean, however, that cases of retaliation should be left unchecked.

Any worker who has been subjected to retaliatory behavior from an employer has the right to seek compensation for that retaliation. Knowing how to interpret the law and having a fresh pair of eyes look at your case might help you to decide how to proceed with your complaints of retaliation. From there, you can determine if you need to file a lawsuit and how to move forward with that lawsuit if that is how you choose to handle the situation.

Source: Perkins & Associates Attorneys at Law, "When is being fired wrongful termination?" Aug. 28, 2014

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