Statutory Protection against Retaliation at Workplace & Whistle-Blowers Laws

Posted by Nabin Shaw on November 25th, 2020

Any employee who is engaged in a protected activity is the one who faces retaliation at the workplace. Retaliation at the workplace is a kind of discrimination that has been made illegal as per the California state laws and federal laws. Laws like Fair Employment & Housing Act, Labor Code protects such employees against various kinds of discrimination which comprise racial discrimination, age-related discrimination, and retaliation at the workplace which comprise unlawful termination from the job, demotion, loss of wages or benefits, loss of workers compensation and other economic benefits, etc. The employee can sue the employer and file a lawsuit claiming damages for the same.

Employers Attorney

There are many lawyers to defend against the employee and they can prove that the employer had other reasons to terminate the job of the employee. So, your case has to be a strong one and you need 3 kinds of evidence like a poof of timing, proof of retaliatory statements, and showing that other employees are treated less harshly can make your case competent and strong. You need these shreds of evidence to prove your case and get compensated for economic damages and mental agony. There are common law protections also which is available in which an employee may not be discharged for a reason that contravenes a fundamental public policy.

Exceptions & Examples

Under the public policy exception, there are 4 kinds of exceptions and categories of activities that are protected. They are – refusing to violate a statute, performing a statutory obligation, exercising a constitutional right or privilege, and reporting a statutory violation for the public benefit. Specifically, the employees in California are protected from retaliatory discharge through the following examples. They are – discussing wages, refusing to sign a certain non-competent agreement, advocating medically appropriate health care for patients, exercising family and medical leave rights under the family rights act, reporting overtime wage violations, disclosing anti-trust violations.

Whistle-Blowers Law

Also, the whistleblowers who report the illegal activities at the workplace to internal supervisors rather than law enforcement may be protected, although there is a disagreement in California courts with regards to this rule. Under the whistleblower law, the employees are supposed to report such illegal activities taking place at the workplace to the law enforcement agency. There are also statutory protections for the employees in which general whistleblower protection provides that an employee may not be retailed for the following kinds of protected activities. Such activities are disclosing suspected violations of the state or federal law to the government.

Statutory Protections

Statutory protections also provide disclosing suspected violations of the state and the federal laws to a person with authority who can investigate the matter or correct the violations. Plus, the laws also lays down a rule that employers cannot implement such policies or rules in the company where it prevents an employee to report such activity to the government agency or law enforcement. The employer cannot in any way force the employee to do the same. Whistleblower protection laws extend to future employment also in which the future employers can retaliate against the employees for being into protected activity as listed by the Labor Code section 1102.5.

Final Words

So, if you are also the kind of person who has faced retaliation for being a part of the protected activity, then it is high time that you file a lawsuit against the employer and get compensated economically and for mental agony caused to you because of the retaliatory actions like termination, demotion, loss of wages, etc. 

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Nabin Shaw

About the Author

Nabin Shaw
Joined: May 7th, 2018
Articles Posted: 225

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