Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me for Reporting a California Labor Law Code Violation?
Under California’s whistleblower protection laws, employees have a right to report labor law code violations and make wage and hour claims without facing retaliation.
Despite the protections, however, many employers retaliate against employees who report labor law violations in the workplace or cooperate in investigations conducted by government or law enforcement agencies.
If you have been a victim of retaliation for reporting a labor law code violation in Los Angeles, speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our Los Angeles unlawful retaliation attorneys at Obagi Law Group P.C., to discuss your particular situation.
California Law Prohibits Retaliation for Reporting Labor Code Violations
California law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report labor law violations or illegal activities in the workplace to the government or law enforcement agencies.
An employee can file a retaliation lawsuit against their employer for firing, demoting, suspending, reducing hours or pay, refusing to promote, or taking any other adverse employment action against them for reporting labor law code violations.
Specifically, there are three labor codes prohibiting retaliation against employees in California:
- Labor Code § 1102.5. It is illegal for employers to enforce any policies that would prevent or discourage employees from investigating, correcting, or reporting federal or state labor law code violations to government or law enforcement agencies.
- Labor Code § 98.6. This labor code prohibits California employers from terminating, discriminating against, retaliating against, or taking any adverse action against an employee or job applicant for engaging in a protected activity. Protected activity includes reporting violations related to wages and work hours, meal and rest breaks, and minimum or overtime wages.
- Labor Code § 6310. Employers have no right to discharge, discriminate, or otherwise retaliate against an employee for reporting safety or health violations in the workplace, reporting workplace injuries, illnesses or deaths, or taking part in an occupational health and safety committee.
Penalties for Whistleblower Retaliation in California
California law imposes harsh penalties on employers who violate whistleblower protection laws. An employer may be ordered to pay a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each violation when retaliating against employees for making wage and hour claims. Penalties for whistleblower retaliation vary depending on the type of retaliation. Penalties include:
- Reimbursing an employee for lost wages or benefits
- Providing back pay
- Reinstating a whistleblower
- Paying actual damages
- Paying civil penalties
If you believe that your employer has retaliated against you for reporting a labor law code violation, you may be eligible to pursue a whistleblower retaliation claim. If you become a victim of discrimination as a result of reporting a labor code violation, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Speak with a knowledgeable retaliation attorney in California to determine if you have a right to sue your employer for retaliating against you for making complaints or reporting wage and hour, safety and health, or other violations.
To find out more information on your options if you have been a victim of whistleblower retaliation, contact our employment attorneys at Obagi Law Group P.C. Call 424-284-2401 to receive a case evaluation.