Protected Activities In California Employment Law
The goal of employment discrimination law is to ensure that employers treat workers fairly. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination against workers based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, religion, age, disability, and national origin. Actions that can be considered discriminatory include refusal to hire, termination of employment, demotion, and various forms of harassment. Employment laws prohibit employer retaliation. In other words, discrimination is when your employer has it out for you because of who you are, but retaliation is when your employer has it out for you because of something you did, when you had a legal right to do that something. If you are thinking about filing a complaint and are worried that your employer might retaliate against you, contact a Los Angeles discrimination and harassment lawyer.
Examples of Protected Activities
Workers have the right to fair pay and safe working conditions, including not working longer shifts than it is safe to work. They also have the right to engage in certain actions, known as protected activities, that might inconvenience the employer, but it is against the law for the employer to punish the employee for doing these things. These are some examples of protected activities:
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim if you get injured at work
- Requesting a leave of absence from work because of your own illness or to care for a new baby or a sick family member
- Reporting a workplace safety violation to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Requesting accommodations for a documented disability
- Complaining about workplace discrimination to your employer or to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Reporting misconduct by your employer to a government agency with the authority to investigate this misconduct
In other words, you have the right to stand up for yourself and for the public good without intimidation by your employer.
What Protections Are Associated With Protected Activities?
If your employer punishes you for engaging in a protected activity or tries to intimidate you out of doing it when you express your intention to engage in the protected activity, you should talk to an employment lawyer. You might be able to file an employer retaliation lawsuit, but only if you can prove that your employer took an adverse action against you and that your employer’s reason for taking the adverse action was to punish you for engaging in the protected activity. Adverse actions can include writing an unfairly critical performance review, denying you a promotion or raise, transferring you to a different position when you didn’t request the transfer, and termination of employment. Hostile work environment, also known as harassment, is also an adverse action. You must prove that the adverse action is a direct consequence of the protected activity, even if your employer argues otherwise.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer
A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer has taken an adverse action against you in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.