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Los Angeles Retaliation Lawyer

Illegal workplace retaliation is by far the most common Equal Employment Opportunity Commision job discrimination complaint, mostly because such claims do not require plaintiffs to prove actual discrimination. Instead, these individuals must only show that the employer’s response to the situation was improper.

The experienced Los Angeles retaliation lawyers at the Obagin Law Group also pursue these claims on behalf of victims. But we never take the easy way out. Instead, we rely on the proven methods we have developed over the years to obtain maximum damages in these cases. Employees need this compensation to move on with their lives, and only maximum compensation convinces employers to change the way they treat their workers.

Protected Activities

Most retaliation claims involve protected employment activities. The 1964 Civil Rights Act set forth a number of these activities. Subsequent laws have added more items to this list.

Sexual harassment and other job harassment complaints are a good example. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for activities like filing a complaint, encouraging someone else to file a complaint, serving as a witness in a harassment investigation, or advocating for harassment victims. The retaliation itself could take many forms as well, including:

  • Refusal to hire,
  • Termination,
  • Demotion,
  • Sidelining, which is usually a loss of opportunity,
  • Reassignment, and
  • Formal or informal loss of seniority or authority.

Labor organization is also a protected activity. Once again, this category is very broad. It includes things such as attending a union meeting, talking to coworkers about wages or working conditions, advocating for union causes, distributing materials, joining a union, or serving in a leadership capacity. It is generally legal to use channels like a company email account to participate in such activities.

Other protected activities include whistleblowing and, in some cases, promoting or opposing a certain political candidate, party, or issue.

Proving Retaliation

The P-word is a bit misleading in this context. Plaintiffs need not conclusively “prove” anything. The burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. That’s the lowest burden of proof in California law.

Temporal link retaliation is a good example. Assume Christine reports sexual harassment to her boss in March. The next month, her boss reassigns her to a different branch, citing staffing issues. These concerns probably played a role in the decision. But more likely than not, Christine’s recent sexual harassment report was the driving force behind her reassignment.

That’s especially true if other circumstantial evidence is also available. For example, as a female, Christine is in a protected employment class. So, courts look at moves like a reassignment much differently than they would otherwise.

Once a plaintiff establishes a prima facie retaliation claim, unless the employer offers a compelling nondiscriminatory reason for the move, the plaintiff is entitled to damages. These damages normally include back pay as well as a reasonable amount of future pay, if reinstatement to the prior position is not an appropriate remedy.

Connect with a Savvy  Los Angeles County Retaliation Attorney

The law guarantees equal opportunity for everyone. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Los Angeles retaliation lawyer, contact the Obagi Law Group. P.C. After-hours visits are available.