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Litigation, P.C. Law Firm
Los Angeles Litigation Law Firm 424-284-2401

Los Angeles Retaliation Lawyer

Illegal workplace retaliation is by far the most common Equal Employment Opportunity Commission job discrimination complaint, mostly because such claims do not require plaintiffs to prove actual discrimination. Instead, these individuals must only show that the employer’s response to the situation was improper.

An experienced Los Angeles retaliation lawyer at Litigation, P.C., can pursue these claims on behalf of victims. But we never take the easy way out. Instead, we rely on the proven methods we have developed over the years to obtain maximum damages in these cases. Employees need this compensation to move on with their lives, and only maximum compensation convinces employers to change the way they treat their workers.

Protected Activities

Most retaliation claims involve protected employment activities. The 1964 Civil Rights Act set forth a number of these activities. Subsequent laws have added more items to this list.

Sexual harassment and other job harassment complaints are a good example. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for activities like filing a complaint, encouraging someone else to file a complaint, serving as a witness in a harassment investigation, or advocating for harassment victims. The retaliation itself could take many forms as well, including:

  • Refusal to hire,
  • Termination,
  • Demotion,
  • Sidelining, which is usually a loss of opportunity,
  • Reassignment, and
  • Formal or informal loss of seniority or authority.

Labor organization is also a protected activity. Once again, this category is very broad. It includes things such as attending a union meeting, talking to coworkers about wages or working conditions, advocating for union causes, distributing materials, joining a union, or serving in a leadership capacity. It is generally legal to use channels like a company email account to participate in such activities.

Other protected activities include whistleblowing and, in some cases, promoting or opposing a certain political candidate, party, or issue.

It is important to speak with a Los Angeles retaliation lawyer about whether you engaged in any conduct that may be considered “protected activity”.

Adverse Employment Action

It is also important that the employee show that employee suffered from an adverse employment action after engaging in protected activity. Employees are familiar with obvious and ultimate actions such as a termination or demotion. But actions or a course or pattern of conduct that materially and adversely affects the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment are also considered an adverse employment action. This includes conduct that is reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee’s job performance or prospects for advancement or promotion. The conduct has to be more than minor or trivial actions or conduct that does not reasonably do more than anger or upset an employee.

A Los Angeles retaliation lawyer will be able to help you determine whether the treatment you suffered may constitute an adverse employment action.

Proving Retaliation

The P-word is a bit misleading in this context. Plaintiffs need not conclusively “prove” anything. The burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence, meaning more likely than not. That’s the lowest burden of proof in California law.

Temporal link retaliation is a good example. Assume Christine reports sexual harassment to her boss in March. The next month, her boss reassigns her to a different branch, citing staffing issues. These concerns probably played a role in the decision. But more likely than not, Christine’s recent sexual harassment report was the driving force behind her reassignment.

That’s especially true if other circumstantial evidence is also available. For example, as a female, Christine is in a protected employment class. So, courts look at moves like a reassignment much differently than they would otherwise.

Once a plaintiff establishes a prima facie retaliation claim, unless the employer offers a compelling nondiscriminatory reason for the move, the plaintiff is entitled to damages. These damages normally include back pay as well as a reasonable amount of future pay, if reinstatement to the prior position is not an appropriate remedy. Other damages may also be available.

Connect with a Savvy Los Angeles Retaliation Attorney

Employees are protected from retaliation when they engage in protected activities. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Los Angeles retaliation lawyer, contact Litigation, P.C., at 424-284-2401 or online to learn about your legal options. We routinely handle matters throughout SoCal.