Federal and state employment laws protect Californians from discrimination, harassment and many other forms of workplace mistreatment. If you have been the victim of impermissible conduct at work, you likely have a right to report the incident, file an official complaint or take other steps.
With few exceptions, your employer cannot retaliate against you for taking action as long as you have reasonable belief discrimination or another form of prohibited conduct has taken place. While termination of employment is an obvious sign of retaliation, other types of retaliation may not be so easy to identify.
Adverse employment action
Essentially, any adverse employment action that stems from your protected activities may constitute retaliation. In addition to termination of employment, the following may be retaliatory:
- Reprimanding you without cause
- Giving you a poor performance review without merit
- Taking away job duties
- Changing your schedule
- Demoting you
- Reporting you to the police or a government agency
This list is not exhaustive, of course. Put simply, anything your employer does to negatively affect your employment may meet the definition of impermissible retaliation.
Documentation of retaliation
If you suspect your employer may be retaliating against you in violation of state or federal law, you probably want to gather as much documentation as possible. This documentation may include employment records, statements from coworkers and other relevant details. Keeping a contemporaneous journal of your treatment at work may also be useful.
You should not have to worry about how engaging in a protected activity is likely to affect your job. Ultimately, if you are the victim of illegal retaliation, you undoubtedly have options for safeguarding your career.