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Protected activities and employer retaliation in California


California's labor laws may be numerous and often complex, but they exist for critical reasons. One such reason is the protection of the countless workers who form the heart of the state's economy. A key protection offered by the state is protection against employer retaliation. A Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney can provide legal advice on this topic.

Illegal retaliation is often one of the primary reasons why a local worker might fear performing a protected activity. What is a protected activity? According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, protected activities fall under the labor commissioner's jurisdiction and include making a complaint about a safety hazard on the job, refusing to perform dangerous work, filing a wage claim with the office of the labor commissioner or even taking time off work for jury duty.

Employees may understandably feel anxious about performing these protected activities since an employer is likely to not want the activity done. While the law does protect workers, some employers choose to ignore the law in the interest of profit or avoiding bad publicity. Nevertheless, protected activities are just that - protected. A worker who is retaliated against by employer can file a complaint with the DLSE, or Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Some examples of retaliation cases include an employee who is fired, demoted or suspended due to engaging in a protected activity. Moreover, someone who is a victim of discrimination after being doing a protected activity may also be facing illegal retaliation. Going to an attorney is one way to ensure a complaint is taken seriously and one's rights are protected under the law.

Source: California Department of Industrial Relations, "Retaliation/Discrimination," accessed Dec. 13, 2015

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.
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