If your complaints about discrimination or other employment law violations resulted in your termination or another negative employment action, you should immediately contact a workplace retaliation attorney. In addition to your underlying claim, you might have claims relating to your employer’s retaliatory actions. Below, the Costanzo Law Firm, APC explains California workplace retaliation law.
What Is Workplace Retaliation?
In California, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker for asserting his or her legal rights. In other words, your employer cannot try to punish you for filing a complaint with an administrative agency or court, alleging:
- Discrimination based on your:
- Age (if 40 years old or older)
- Disability or medical condition
- Gender or sex
- Marital status
- National origin
- Political activities
- Pregnancy, childbirth, or other related conditions
- Race or ethnicity
- Sexual orientation
- Labor violations – such as unequal pay
- Safety violations – such as unhealthy working conditions, exposure to toxins
California’s retaliation laws also cover employees who participate in investigations, testify against their employers, or are perceived to be whistleblowers.
While retaliation is typically associated with termination or firing, it can involve any type of adverse employment action. You might have a retaliation claim if your participation in a labor or employment-related investigation resulted in a demotion, pay cut, reduction in hours, harassment, or a hostile work environment.
What Are the Time Limits on Workplace Retaliation Claims?
Unfortunately, the statutes of limitations for workplace retaliation cases vary significantly, depending on your specific type of claim (and whether it is a state or federal claim). They range from 90 days for certain health and safety-related claims to two years for equal pay claims.
Because many of California’s retaliation-related deadlines are one year or less, it’s important that you act quickly. If you believe you are a victim of retaliation, contact us immediately. We can help you understand your legal rights, as well as the time limits that apply to your situation.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Workplace Retaliation Settlement?
Every workplace retaliation case is unique, and your settlement value will depend on the nature of your claim, the severity of your employer’s behavior, the extent of your damages, and other factors. If you’d like to understand the value of your case, your best option is to set up a consultation with one of our lawyers.
If your employer illegally retaliated against you, you might be eligible for compensation for your:
- Economic losses, including lost income, job search expenses, and other costs related to the retaliation
- Pain and suffering
- Payment of your attorney’s fees
On rare occasions, a court or jury will award punitive damages if you prove that your employer’s retaliation was malicious or oppressive.
Because most, if not all, California workplace retaliation cases involve economic damages, you should keep track of all your retaliation-related expenses. If you have information about your wage losses and other expenses, bring them to your first appointment with a workplace retaliation attorney at Costanzo Law. However, if you don’t have this information, don’t panic. Once you hire a workplace retaliation lawyer, he or she will help you calculate your damages.
When Should I Contact a California Workplace Retaliation Attorney?
While workplace retaliation is common, it can be difficult to prove — especially as time passes. Typically, employers are smart enough not to document their retaliatory motives in writing. As people’s memories fade, it can become more and more difficult to prove your claim. You also run the risk of missing your statute of limitations if you delay speaking with an experienced workplace retaliation attorney.
We believe it’s in most employees’ best interests to consult with a lawyer before filing a retaliation claim, if possible. These cases require a sophisticated legal analysis, careful review of employment records, and diligent investigation. At Costanzo Law Firm, APC, our clients benefit from our attention to detail, aggressive representation, and thoughtful advice. With over 25 years of employment litigation experience, we understand the complexities of workplace retaliation claims and how to address them.
Schedule an Appointment With a Workplace Retaliation Attorney at Costanzo Law, APC
If you’ve suffered adverse employment actions because you reported workplace violations, contact a workplace retaliation attorney at Costanzo Law, APC today. Based in the California Bay Area, Costanzo Law Firm, APC is an aggressive and respected employment law firm that focuses on the workers’ rights. We are passionate advocates for working people and look forward to speaking with you.