The Watkins Firm has decades of experience defending San Diego employers from retaliation claims by employees or outside agencies. Retaliation is an issue that is addressed by federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws, as well as California’s commercial code. When is a San Diego employer at risk for allegations of retaliation?
Once an employee has filed a complaint or is a witness in an investigation or lawsuit you must be cautious about all actions, especially those related to work performance evaluation and discipline. This caution should extend to whistleblowers as well as those who refuse instructions that would violate laws against discrimination or for questioning behavior such as unwelcomed personal or sexual advances. Employers must understand that under the New California Fair Pay Act an employee has the right to ask management or co-workers about their salary and benefit packages, especially when concerns about wage discrimination may exist.
The response of an employer to any of these circumstances could lead to retaliation claims if they include (but are not limited to):
- Creating a hostile work environment including physical or verbal abuse
- Issuing an undocumented or unwarranted poor performance evaluation
- Initiating a disciplinary procedure without carefully followed procedures and extensive documentation to support it
- Cancelling existing business relationships or other business related activities with an employee’s relatives or friends as a way of punishing behavior
- Demoting the employee, or transferring them into a lower paying and less desirable job within the company
- Threatening or actually disclosing information to authorities that jeopardizes the employee (such as immigration status)
- Changing work hours or schedules to conflict with known employee needs or requirements (such as child care or a working spouse)
We have extensive expertise defending San Diego employers from retaliation claims and in associated hearings, lawsuits or other litigation. If you are concerned about the potential for employer liability we invite you to contact us for a free consultation at 858-535-1511.