When you are discriminated against in the workplace, especially by a manager, it can be a very confusing situation to navigate. You may worry that you are overreacting in regard to the treatment. However, something inside of you tells you that the actions were not right. When you make a complaint about the discrimination that you received, it could be possible that this is met with anger by the perpetrator. As a result, you might suffer further mistreatment.
Everyone in the workplace has the legal right to be treated with equality and respect. In addition, if California workers file formal complaints with their companies, it means that they are protected from retaliation for a certain amount of time. This means that for a specific period after you filed your complaint, you will generally not be able to be legally fired, demoted or punished in any way.
What is workplace retaliation?
Workplace retaliation is a term used for any kind of adverse action that is taken against employees after they have complained formally about some aspect of their jobs, either to an external or internal outlet. Therefore, workplace retaliation could mean a person getting demoted after his or her manager learns that they made a safety complaint to the government. It could also mean being intentionally excluded from projects by a manager after a worker complained internally that he or she was being sexually harassed or discriminated against.
What other types of behaviors can count as workplace retaliation in California?
Acts of workplace retaliation is not only limited to demotion and firing. It could also mean that the person who made a complaint suddenly becomes subject to intense scrutiny, that he or she gets assigned more difficult tasks that they do not usually do or are not qualified to do. Sometimes, retaliation could even involve a member of their family being subject to adverse treatment, such as their being abruptly fired from the same company.
It is important for all workers to recognize discrimination when it occurs and for them to feel empowered to make a complaint when necessary. You should never fear making a complaint, because you will be legally protected from any adverse treatment here in California.