Retaliation at Work – 5 Actions Protected by Law

February 9, 2024

Retaliation at Work – 5 Actions Protected by Law

Retaliation at work is illegal.

Employees suffer from retaliation at work on a frequent basis, and at times, they may not even know they were retaliated against. 

Retaliation at work happens when an employee is essentially punished for reporting wrongful activities they are legally entitled to speak up about on the job. According to the US Department of Labor, the consequential actions are usually brought about by a manager or supervisor.

Examples of retaliation at work could include:

  • Being demoted to a lower position
  • Getting transferred to another location
  • Having your pay/salary reduced or losing benefits
  • Promotion denial
  • Job termination

It’s important to remember if one of these actions happens to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are the victim of retaliation at work. As previously mentioned, retaliation happens when an employee is reprimanded for reporting something for which they are legally protected to do so.

A few examples of protected activities include:

Reporting harassment

Sexual harassment is one of the more frequent forms of harassment in the workplace. This could range from unwanted sexual requests to inappropriate physical touch. 

Other forms of harassment, like bullying, are common as well.

If an employee is the victim of or sees someone else being harassed, they have the right to report such incidents. 

Reporting discrimination

Even though employees are protected from being fired for discriminatory reasons, they can still be discriminated against on the job. This could include disparaging remarks about someone’s race or gender identity, as well as excluding someone from specific projects because of their age or religion.

Employees can, and should, report incidents like this without the fear of retaliation at work.

Reporting unsafe working conditions

No employee should face unnecessary danger at work. Unsafe working conditions might include unmaintained equipment, unsanitary environments, or electrical hazards. 

Employees forced to work in these conditions have every right to report their concerns. They may be retaliated against for doing so.

Reporting company law violations

Company’s sometimes break the law and partake in illegal activities.  An example could include claiming employees as independent contractors when they are full-time employees. 

If such an action occurs, employees can legally report the fact their company is breaking the law.

Refusing to engage in law violations or other illegal activity

To further the previous method of retaliation, employers could force other employees to engage in illegal activities. There are a wide variety of actions an employer may take, each one putting not only the employees job at stake, but their livelihood as well.

If an employee suffers from retaliation at work for refusing to take part in anything illegal at work, they have the right to report such incidents.

retaliation at work could occur if an employee is reprimanded for reporting unsafe working conditions.

Retaliation at work can happen to anyone, even when they don’t expect it. An employee could be simply trying to help others when their employer decides to retaliate against them.

In 2023, a Kaiser Permanente nurse won a 41 million dollar lawsuit against her former employer for retaliation and wrongful termination. She was fired for “reporting unsafe staffing levels and poor patient care in the NICU”.

Additionally, reports indicate there was a backlog of almost 5,000 retaliation claims in April 2023 just in the state of California alone.

If you believe you were the victim of retaliation, you may be entitled to compensation. Reaching out to a Los Angeles retaliation attorney could be the first step for your justice. 

The LA employment attorneys at C&B Law Group are prepared to help fight the fight for those who have been retaliated against. With decades of combined experience, our lawyers will work within their legal power to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Our Southern California retaliation lawyers assist clients in areas such as:

  • Los Angeles
  • Long Beach
  • Santa Ana
  • Glendale
  • Burbank
  • Inglewood
  • Compton
  • Bakersfield
  • Whittier

Contact our team today for a free consultation.

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