The state of California and the United States federal government have laws in place designed to protect the rights of workers. Discrimination and harassment based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, and disability are against the law. You have the right to overtime pay and rest and meal breaks. When you have a health problem of your own or that of a close family member, or if you have a new baby or adopt or foster a child, you have the right to take a leave to take care of yourself or your loved one, or to bond with the new child in your home. When you come back, as long as you’ve been out for no more than twelve weeks, your job should be waiting for you. Some employers are unhappy when their employees avail themselves of these legal rights by taking advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or by reporting a violation of another law designed to protect workers. When employers violate the law, employees sometimes think they need to “just suck it up,” and be quiet because they need the job, but that is not the case.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for making complaints of workplace discrimination and/or harassment. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees for complaining about unlawful and/or unethical conduct by the employer, such as fraud violations, health and safety violations, and wage and hour violations.

Although retaliation comes in many forms, retaliatory discharge is the most prevalent form of retaliation. Retaliation may also take the form of disciplinary actions, negative performance reviews, being overlooked for a promotion, or a reduction in wages.

If you’ve filed a complaint or taken the leave you’re entitled to and are discharged from your job in retaliation, you do have recourse through the courts.

An Employment Attorney Can Help

If you find yourself in a position where you have been wrongfully discharged from your job because you angered your employer by taking a leave or whistleblowing, you need a good employment attorney. You may be eligible to recover damages, potentially including additional punitive damages—designed to punish the employer and deter the company from this kind of behavior—above and beyond your actual losses.

Los Angeles Labor Lawyers

At the California Employment Legal Group, we devote a large part of our practice to workplace issues and have extensive experience in helping employees who have been treated unfairly to recover damages. The law will protect you if you allow it to, and your lawyer will advise you every step of the way when you’ve chosen to oppose an unlawful retaliatory discharge. We are proud to be in a position to safeguard the basic human right to work for a living. We are passionate in our commitment to enforcing fairness and equality for every employee who chooses to exercise this fundamental right.

If you’ve been wrongfully discharged from your job in retaliation for exercising a legal workplace right, call the California Employment Legal Group for aggressive legal representation. The consultation is free, and we accept cases on a contingency fee basis. If you don’t win money, you don’t pay.