Schimmel & Parks, APLC - Litigation
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Can I file a complaint for employer retaliation in California?

Despite worker complaints and rights being granted greater attention in the media and public, employer retaliation and other forms of mistreatment against employees remains a problem in California. There are many ways in which a worker can be retaliated against. Understanding when there has been a legal violation is a foundational aspect to filing a complaint with the state and seeking compensation in a legal filing. Knowing who can file and how to go about it is one of the first steps toward a case.

The law protects employees, past employees and those applying for employment who have been retaliated or discriminated against. These acts can encompass a person being retaliated against due to their age, race, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, national origin and much more. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing handles these cases. A complainant can discuss the case with the California Labor Commissioner's Office or another law enforcement or government entity about the case.

There are time constraints with filings related to employer retaliation. It must be filed within six months of the act taking place. There are, however, exceptions to that rule. For whistleblowers who were facing retaliation after complaining about a licensing issue with daycare, it is 90 days. If it was a victim of sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence, it is one year. If it is due to a violation of the Equal Pay Act, it must be filed within two years; if it was willful, it is three years. It is important to remember that workers have the right to file a lawsuit on their own even if they have complained to government entities.

Filing a complaint can be a key part of a legal filing as there will be evidence provided in that complaint that the worker was being subjected to employer retaliation. Workers who have been unfairly disciplined, given poor reviews of their work performance, denied a raise in pay, lost hours and had a heavier workload after complaining about violations might have been retaliated against. A law firm that helps clients recover compensation after employer retaliation should be contacted for help when these events have occurred.

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