San Diego Retaliation Lawyer
Have you faced retaliation from your employer? You have rights, and Ferraro Vega is here to help you uphold them. Contact our law office at (619) 693-7727 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Diego retaliation lawyer who can help.
California labor law is strict: employers may not wrongfully terminate or otherwise retaliate against employees for protected activities like reporting harassment or illegal activities.
We will help you explore your legal options and seek the compensation you deserve for your employer’s unlawful actions.
How Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers Can Help with Your Employment Retaliation Case
California has some of the strongest employee protections in the United States. California employers are prohibited from many actions that infringe on the rights of their employees.
This includes retaliating with any adverse employment actions for employees who exercise their rights.
Unfortunately, proving retaliation can be tricky, especially if you do not have experienced legal counsel. Employment law is also complicated and there may be strict deadlines and reporting rules. This is where Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers comes in to help.
Our employment attorneys in San Diego spent years working with some of the largest law firms in the United States to gain valuable experience. We put our expertise to work to protect the rights of California employees in all industries. We work on a contingency-fee basis to give you the legal representation you deserve without out-of-pocket costs.
When you trust Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers to represent you in your retaliation case, you can count on us to:
- Offer sound legal counsel and advice
- Determine if you have a case and under which law you can file a retaliation claim
- Help you gather evidence to support your retaliation claim
- File a complaint with the proper government agency and ensure legal requirements are met before a lawsuit can be filed
- Represent you during the agency-supervised investigation
- Negotiate with your employer to reach a settlement offer
- File a lawsuit against your employer if a fair settlement isn’t reached
You have legal protection against retaliation but exercising these rights can be difficult. Our workplace retaliation attorneys in San Diego are here to fight for you and give you the legal counsel you deserve. Call Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers today to schedule your free case review to explore your options.
What Can Be Considered Employer Retaliation in San Diego?
Under California law, workplace retaliation is defined as an employer taking adverse employment action against you or treating you differently for engaging in a protected activity. Protected activities, listed below, include everything from reporting law violations to complaining about harassment in the workplace.
An employer can retaliate in many ways. Retaliation can include termination, demotion, or a pay cut. It can also be more subtle such as negative performance reviews, increased workload, or being excluded from meetings.
Who Is Protected from Workplace Retaliation?
California employment law protects employees from retaliation from their employers and supervisors in a wide range of scenarios.
Employers in California are prohibited from retaliating against employers who do any of the following:
- Report a violation of the law
- Complain about, oppose, or participate in any investigation of workplace harassment or discrimination
- Request reasonable accommodations for religious beliefs or a disability
- File or help with a qui tam lawsuit
- Taking leave under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
These laws are crucial because they fill a gap in employment law. While employees are protected against wrongful termination in a range of situations, these anti-retaliation laws bar other forms of retaliation like harassment or a pay reduction.
Retaliation refers to “adverse employment action,” but this is a very broad term.
The following are just some examples of workplace retaliation:
- Wrongful termination or retaliatory discharge
- Unsatisfactory job evaluations or references
- Inconvenient relocation
- Undesirable shift changes
- Creating a hostile work environment or workplace harassment
- Losing access to coworkers or supervisors
- Losing benefits or bonuses
- Being locked out of meetings or projects
- Losing job responsibilities
- Mistreatment that creates wrongful constructive termination
This is not an all-inclusive list. Many behaviors can be classified as adverse employment action and retaliation if they impact your work environment and ability to do your job or are designed to punish you.
State and Federal Laws Protect Employees from Retaliation
Employees in California are protected from retaliation by several laws.
The primary law protecting you from retaliation is California Labor Code 1102.5, although there are many additional laws offering protection in more specific scenarios.
The following are the primary laws under which you may bring a workplace retaliation claim.
California Whistleblower Protection
California Labor Code 1102.5 is a whistleblower protection law.
This statute bars employers from retaliating against an employee who:
- Reports suspected illegal activities to a law enforcement or government agency
- Reports suspected regulatory or law violations to a supervisor
- Provides information or testifies before a government body about potential violations of law by the employer
This statute protects whistleblowers from termination and other types of retaliation.
There are many other California whistleblower laws such as:
- Labor Code 6399.7 for retaliation after filing a complaint about workplace health and safety problems.
- Labor Code Section 98.6 for retaliation for filing a complaint about labor code violations with the Labor Commissioner or Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- Government Code Section 12653 for retaliation for reporting illegal or fraudulent billing involving the government.
Federal employees also have protection from retaliation under the Whistleblower Protection Act and Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.
Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
FEHA is a powerful California law that prohibits, among other things, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.
You are protected from workplace retaliation if you:
- Oppose harassment or discrimination in the workplace
- Oppose an employer’s failure to grant family/pregnancy leave
- Filing a discrimination or harassment complaint
- Testify or help with FEHA proceedings
- Request accommodations for religious beliefs or a disability
You are protected by FEHA if your employer takes adverse employment actions against you when any of these protected activities are a major motivating factor.
California False Claims Act
The California False Claims Act protects you from employer retaliation when you file or help with a qui tam lawsuit or try to stop a violation of the act. This act grants employees the right to file a qui tam lawsuit against an employer who commits embezzlement, theft, or fraud against a government entity or steals government funds.
Filing a Claim for Workplace Retaliation in San Diego
The process for filing a lawsuit – and the types of damages you may recover – depends on the circumstances of the retaliation you face and the statute it falls under.
- Labor Code 1102.5 Retaliation Claims: You must notify the California Labor and Workplace Development agency and your employer of your complaint. The agency will decide whether it will investigate your complaint. If not, you can file your own lawsuit.
- FEHA Retaliation Claims: You must first file a complaint with DFEH. Once DFEH issues a “right to sue” notice, you can sue your employer for retaliation.
- Qui Tam Retaliation Claims: You have the right to file a qui tam lawsuit against your employer immediately for violations of the California False Claims Act.
Your San Diego employment law attorney can help you determine the correct steps to take to protect your rights and pursue a legal claim for retaliation.
Be aware that employer retaliation claims can be difficult to prove.
Retaliation is not always obvious or overt and your employer probably won’t state the reason they are terminating or demoting you is in retaliation. Instead, you may just have a gut feeling.
Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers will help you gather evidence to build your case. The agency investigating your case, or a jury, will consider many factors to determine if the action you faced was retaliation including how soon after your protected activity it occurred and how pervasive the negative actions were.
Damages for Workplace Retaliation in San Diego
The damages you may be entitled to recover for workplace retaliation depend on the type of case and what type of retaliation you face.
In general, your damages can likely include:
- Damages for harm to your professional reputation
- Damages for emotional distress
- Lost wages for retaliatory actions such as demotion or denial of a raise
If you were wrongfully terminated in retaliation for a protected activity, you be entitled to:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Compensation for emotional distress and loss of professional reputation
- Attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages
However, these damages also depend on the type of wrongful termination lawsuit.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Diego Retaliation Lawyer
Have you faced retaliation from an employer for a protected activity? Do you fear your employer will retaliate if you speak up? Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers is here to help you protect your legal rights and seek damages for the retaliation you have faced.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with an experienced San Diego retaliation lawyer who can help you explore your legal options.