People in California general want to do the right thing and report illegal or other problems in the workplace. What they may fear, however, is that they will be treated unfairly or even fired if they speak up. Fortunately, California law addresses this situation and can provide the groundwork for employers who find themselves being accused of retaliation.
California Labor Code Section 110.25 addresses when an employee can bring a retaliation lawsuit against their employer. Employers may be sued if the employee engaged in a legally protected activity and the employer committed an adverse employment action in response to the employee’s legally protected activity. For example, if a worker was fired for reporting fraud to their supervisor or the appropriate government agency that worker may pursue a retaliation claim against their employer. In addition, employees cannot be forced to do something illegal.
Protecting yourself against retaliation claims
Given the broad protections California Labor Code Section 110.25 gives to employees, it is essential that employers protect themselves from potential retaliation claims. Employers should ensure that they have legitimate reasons for taking an adverse employment action against an employee. This is true even if the adverse employment action does not involve any violation of the law or public policy.
Learn more about your rights as an employer
Employers generally want to avoid employee lawsuits at all costs. A legal claim brought by an employee can damage an employer’s reputation and could potentially lead to stiff penalties that affect an employer’s bottom line. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on wrongful termination in California may be a good resource for those who want to learn more about their rights and options.