San Diego Employer Defense Attorneys for Retaliation Disputes

Defending a San Diego Employer in any Dispute - Employer DefenseEmployer retaliation lawsuits have unfortunately become much more prevalent in recent years.  The legal standard for proving claims of discrimination or harassment are quite high, and most cases simply cannot succeed based upon the facts.  The Watkins Firm has a strong record of defending San Diego employers in all forms of employment related litigation.  Perhaps more importantly, we work with our business clients to ensure that employer related disputes and lawsuits, and specifically retaliation claims, are prevented before they ever arise.

Employees often attempt to establish a retaliation claim by attempting to show that they complained about one issue, suffered some form of job related set-back, and attempt to present evidence to demonstrate a link between the two events.  Recent Court decisions here in California have unfortunately expanded the circumstances that comprise wrongful employer retaliation.  Attorneys representing the employee often seek employer retaliation cases, as they can often result in Private Attorneys General Act class actions as well as expensive “punitive damages” in a civil action.

Our work begins with effective employment contracts, policies and procedures manuals and employment handbooks.  We counsel our business employers on all areas of national, state and local employment laws to reduce the incidence of disputes.  However, when an employee doesn’t get their way or faces disciplinary action or termination a claim of retaliation can often arise.  What is the key to preventing and defending claims of employer retaliation?

Educating San Diego Employers on The Steps that Lead to Accusations of Retaliation

Defending Claims of Employer Retaliation Employer Defense AttorneyThe first step in preventing a claim of employer retaliation is education.  It is important for an employer to not only understand what constitutes retaliation, but the warning signs leading up to a retaliation claim.   Employers and managers of your company should understand that any disciplinary or adverse employment action they take against an employee, even if it isn’t directly associated with the workplace, can create the potential for retaliation claims.

There are substantial “Protected Activities” which an employee has a right to exercise under California and federal law.  These include examples such as participating in the organization and attempted formation of a union, the submission of safety concerns or complaints, whistleblowing on management or the owner(s) of the business, participating in a PAGA action, acting as a witness or cooperating with any investigation of a legal or employment-related violation or reporting wage and hour or payroll violations.

Defending Employers against Retaliation San Diego

The employee or a group of employees may take part in other protected activities including but not limited to:

  • Using sick leave and family leave according to appropriate federal and state laws
  • Refusing to participate in and/or reporting illegal conduct occurring in the workplace
  • Standing up against sexual harassment, discrimination and other toxic workplace environments
  • Requesting accommodations for attire or leave associated with religious practices
  • Required need for disability accommodations
  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim or any other legal claim against the company

These practices often lead to workplace disputes but are protected be federal and state law.


Listen to our Recent Sound Business Insights Podcast:
Episode 28 – Common Employer Disputes and Defenses”

Watkins Firm Sound Business Insights - Episode 28 – Common Employer Disputes and Defenses


What Constitutes Retaliation by a San Diego or Southern California Employer?

Defending Claims of Employer RetaliationRetaliation is basically creating an adverse environment or taking any employment-related action against an employee because of their participation in a legally protected activity.

When an employee has complained about an employment related violation, your company should carefully document the employee’s assertions, the action(s) taken, and include written correspondence to the reporting employee that they are protected, by law, against retaliation for raising the concern.

These communications must be carefully worded to ensure that the employee understands that just disciplinary action for other non-related work issues is different than retaliation, and that protections against retaliation do not translate to job security or the ability to violate company employment policies.

This is why it is important to have an experienced and effective general business counsel.

There are “red flags” when it comes to relationships with your employees, and your company owners and managers need to have access to legal guidance when facing delicate employee interactions and disciplinary situations.

There are absolutely times when it is best to turn to an outside partner such as the Watkins Firm to conduct sensitive investigations, to review, edit and approve proposed communications with “protected” employees and even at termination.

Contact Experienced Employer Retaliation Defense Attorneys Based in San Diego

Defending San Diego Wage and Hour Violations– Employer DefenseEmployer retaliation is a dispute that is fraught with the potential for litigation and expensive punitive damages.  When you work with the Watkins Firm, we do everything possible to prevent issues of retaliation before they ever arise.  We structure employment contracts and employment documentation that guides managers and employers, as well as those who work for you.  When a claim of retaliation is asserted, you need immediate experienced legal representation to help diffuse the situation if possible, document all that has happened, and work to reduce your legal and financial exposure.

We vigorously defend San Diego and Southern California employers in wage and hour violations, agency hearings and investigations, PAGA actions and many other employer-related disputes.

We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and contact the Watkins Firm or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary consultation today. 

We will discuss the specifics of your dispute, and our unique approach to disputes and litigation.  We will develop a strategy to bring about a successful outcome in your case in the shortest possible timeframe, and in a cost-effective manner.  A claim of employer retaliation carries substantial legal and financial risk.  Work with the experienced legal team at the Watkins Firm, and put our more than four decades of experience, legal skill and a strong record of success to work protecting your interests.