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Filing a retaliation complaint in California

Perhaps your employer does not include you in company emails because of your nationality. Perhaps you were refused a promotion because you practice a specific religion. Maybe you receive less pay, for the same amount of work, due to your gender. In any of these discriminatory cases, you have the authority to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Unfortunately, after you file a discrimination complaint, your employer and other employees treat you unfairly because you brought a complaint. You were demoted from your position, you face a hostile work environment, or perhaps you were even given less responsibility. For bringing a claim, you now face retaliation.

No individual should face retaliation in the workplace because he or she felt that they experienced discrimination. All individuals have the opportunity to file a complaint if they feel discriminated against due to any of the protected classes, and the law protects these individuals from retaliation by enforcing punishments on employers that conduct these actions.

The retaliation claim process

According to California law, you have just six months to file a retaliation case against your employer after an incident occurs.

Before filing, you want to speak with an employment law attorney. Employment cases dealing with discrimination and retaliation require evidence of actions, and you want to ensure you have a sound claim before filing. You may wish to include:

  • The original discriminatory acts you faced
  • The outcome of your discrimination claim
  • Your experience returning to work
  • Exact retaliation communication
  • Exact information regarding your demotion or job changes
  • Witnesses
  • Any other helpful information for California court

When you file your complaint, you will send all documents to the nearest Labor Commission Office. An investigation will take place if the Retaliation Complaint Investigation Unit (RCI) finds that you may have experienced illegal retaliation. According to the Department of Industrial Relations, the investigation involves interviews with:

  • You
  • Your employer
  • Witnesses

A court can remedy the situation in a variety of ways. You may receive reimbursement for your lost wages or have your employer give you compensation for experiencing the retaliation. In all cases involving these acts, a court will stop all future retaliation in your workplace environment.

You may not wish to file a retaliation complaint alone in California. You want to give yourself the best opportunity to receive compensation or penalize your employer for using retaliation against you for filing your discrimination claim, and an attorney can help you ensure that you receive maximum reimbursement.

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