In Los Angeles, when discrimination occurs in the workplace, an employee has the right to report this discrimination to the proper authorities. However, reporting employment discrimination can expose an employee to potential retaliation by their employer or other employees. Employment retaliation occurs when an employee is discharged from employment, or threatened with discharge, suspension or demotion for engaging in any protected activity under the California Labor Code. Protected activities for which an employee cannot be retaliated against include:
- Filing of threatening to file discrimination complaints or claims with the California Labor Commissioner;
- Using or attempting to utilize sick leave to take care of a sick parent, spouse, child or domestic partner;
- Engaging in political activities;
- Discussing or disclosing employment wages; or
- Complaining about the employer or workplace’s health and safety practices and/or conditions.
The California Labor Code provides specific activities in which an employer cannot engage that would be considered as being retaliatory in nature. If the employer engages in these prohibited activities, their action could be considered as constituting a prohibited form of employment retaliation. Under California Labor Code section 1102.5, an employer cannot:
- Create, enforce or adopt any regulation, rule or policy that prevents employees from disclosing information to law enforcement or government agencies, when that employee reasonable believes that such information that will be disclosed illustrates a violation or noncompliance with federal or state law;
- Retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a law enforcement or government agency when the employee has a reasonable cause to believe that the information to be disclosed illustrates a violation or constitutes non compliance with any federal or state law; or
- Retaliate against an employee because of the employee’s refusal to participate in any activities or conduct that would violate or be noncompliant with state or federal laws.
Bringing Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Claims in LA
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is the California government agency with which retaliatory employment discrimination claims should be filed. Typically, complaints of employment retaliation must be filed within six months from the date that the retaliatory action/event occurred. However, some complaints can be filed beyond the six-month limit. Specifically, victims of domestic violence who were retaliated against for taking time off of work to obtain relief and help from the domestic violence have a year from the date that employment retaliation occurred to file a claim. Furthermore, those who were discriminated against in the payment of wages because of their sex have a two-year time range from the date that the discriminatory activity occurred to file a complaint.
After your complaint has been filed with the DLSE, you will be contacted by a Labor Commissioner’s Office discrimination complaint investigator. During this time, you, your employer and potential witnesses to the retaliatory conduct can also be interviewed. From there a written report will be prepared and reviewed by the labor commissioner. After review the labor commissioner will submit a decision regarding the retaliatory discrimination complaint.
Los Angeles, California Retaliation Discrimination Lawyers
Retaliatory discrimination in the workplace is specifically prohibited by California labor and employment laws. Thus, if you are a victim of retaliatory employment discrimination, or you are an employer being accused of taking retaliatory actions against employees, you should contact the employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Los Angeles, California today for quality legal assistance.