Angela Alioto Law Group

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Retaliation Attorneys

San Francisco, California Retaliation Law Firm

Workplace retaliation violates both California and Federal Law.  If you believe you have lost your job, been demoted, or otherwise suffered in the workplace due to retaliation in San Francisco, or elsewhere in California, you may be able to obtain legal compensation.

Employers may try to justify a retaliatory employment action as a legitimate sanction against the employee.  An experienced employment law attorney can investigate all the facts to determine whether California or federal laws prohibiting retaliation have been violated.

Who Can File A Retaliation Complaint

California law specifically prohibits discrimination and retaliation against employees and job applicants.  Under California law, any employee or applicant for employment who believes he or she was discharged or denied employment, or otherwise discriminated against in violation of any law under the jurisdiction of the California labor commissioner, may file a complaint with the labor commissioner.

An employee in the State of California has the legal right to speak to representatives of the office of the California Labor Commissioner or any other government or law enforcement agency about any issues in the workplace that affect his or her working conditions. A California employer cannot fire, demote, suspend or discipline an employee for answering any questions or for providing any information to a government agency.

With limited exceptions, a complaint alleging discrimination and/or retaliation in violation of the laws under the jurisdiction of the labor commissioner must be filed within six months after the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory and/or retaliatory action.

What Constitutes Retaliation

California law prohibits an employer from retaliating against any employee who engages in protected activity under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA").  The statute makes it unlawful for any employer to fire, demote or act against an employee merely because the employee has filed a complaint against the employer.

Acts by an employee covered under FEHA include:

  • Seeking the advice of the Department of Fair Employment & Housing or Commission, whether or not a complaint is filed, and if a complaint is filed, whether or not the complaint is ultimately sustained.
  • Assisting or advising any person in seeking the advice of the Department or Commission, whether or not a complaint is filed, and if a complaint is filed, whether or not the complaint is ultimately sustained.
  • Opposing employment practices which an individual reasonably believes to exist and believes to be a violation of FEHA.
  • Participating in an activity which is perceived by the employer or other covered entity as opposition to discrimination, whether or not so intended by the individual expressing the opposition.
  • Contacting, communicating with or participating in the proceeding of a local human rights or civil rights agency regarding employment discrimination on a basis enumerated in FEHA.
  • Contacting, communicating with or participating in the proceedings of the Department or Commission due to a good faith belief that FEHA has been violated.
  • Involvement as a potential witness which an employer or other covered entity perceives as participation in an activity of the Department or the Commission.

California law does not prevent employers from enforcing reasonable disciplinary provisions against employees who are disrupting legitimate interests, so long as such enforcement is not in retaliation for a legitimate complaint made by the employee. However, so long as the employee has a reasonable belief that he or she is complaining about unlawful harassment or discrimination, the employer may not take an adverse employment action against the employee.

California Retaliation & Employment Law Attorneys

If you need the services of a California racial discrimination attorney, it is important to seek an attorney with expertise and an excellent reputation. The Law Offices of Mayor Joseph L. Alioto and Angela Alioto P.L.C. is distinguished by its expertise and national recognition in Civil Rights and Employment Law.  We successfully represent individuals in the areas of work-place discrimination based on race, age, disability, gender, religion and sexual orientation, as well as harassment, wage/hour, retaliatory discharge, and wrongful termination.