Under federal and state laws, employees have the right to file complaints against their employers if they experience discrimination, harassment, or there is an illegal activity in their company. Most of these complainants become successful in their claims, but some of them experience adverse actions as a result of their "whistleblowing" activity. If an employee experiences hostility at work because of a previous complaint, it is considered as workplace retaliation.

Expert Los Angeles employment attorney consider three different factors to determine if a situation is workplace retaliation or not. Here are the three key terms:

Adverse Action

An action is considered adverse if it tries to keep an employee from opposing the illegal practices of a company. If the employee already filed the complaint with an agency, an adverse action may be any unreasonable policy that would be difficult for the employee to follow at work. Discrimination, harassment, and termination are also some examples of adverse actions.

Covered Individual

Retaliation is only applicable to covered employees. An employee will only be covered by the law if he has taken a legal action against an employer or company that discriminates against its employees. However, whistleblowers that expose non-discrimination issues are not covered by anti-retaliation laws.

Protected Activity

A protected activity is an action or policy that the employee believes to be discriminatory. If an employer orders his employee to take an adverse action against another worker, that employee has the option not to obey. The employer would not be able to retaliate against the said employee because of the protected activity that he refused to do.

If one of these factors applies to your situation and your employer continues to retaliate against you, you should seek legal assistance right away. Here are some of the steps you may take to resolve the workplace retaliation you are experiencing:

  • Ask your HR supervisor or employer regarding the adverse actions.
  • Obtain evidence to prove that your employer is taking retaliatory actions against you.
  • File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Employers choose to take retaliatory actions against their employees because they think they can scare them off. Many of them do no know that the law prevents protected individuals from being subject to retaliation. As a result, their employees will have the right to hire a Los Angeles labor attorney and file a second complaint against them.