Employees in California have crucial rights when it comes to the safety of their work environment. Although hazards might be unavoidable in certain industries and workplaces, employers still have an obligation to reduce risks by providing personal protective equipment and adequate training. They may also be required to take any other measures necessary to safeguard the health and safety of their workers. Importantly, there are state and federal laws in place that protect workers who may report or make a complaint regarding a dangerous work environment. This is often when a wrongful termination attorney would become involved.
Known as "whistleblower protections," employers are prohibited from terminating or retaliating against employees who take action by seeking to remedy unsafe conditions. If you suffered an adverse employment action as a result of making a workplace safety complaint, you may be entitled to recover your damages in a lawsuit. With a commitment to ensuring redress for workers, wrongful termination attorney at Optimum Employment Lawyers is dedicated to achieving a favorable outcome in every case.
Under California law, whistleblowers who notify law enforcement or a government agency regarding health and safety violations in the workplace have strong legal protections. Employees are also protected from wrongful termination and retaliation if they provide information, cooperate with an investigation, or testify at a hearing regarding the workplace violation.
Under the California Whistleblower Protection Act, employers may not:
If your employer retaliated against you for being a whistleblower, you might be entitled to specific relief under California Labor Law. Specifically, your employer may be required to reinstate you to your position if you were terminated, as well as reinstate any employment and work benefits. You may also be eligible to recover your lost wages and other damages incurred due to your employer's wrongful act. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we work diligently to ensure justice is achieved for each of our clients who have been retaliated against or terminated.
If you've made a complaint regarding your employer's illegal or unsafe work environment — and your employer retaliates against you — it's vital to understand that you have the protection of the law—and an experienced wrongful termination attorney—on your side. Under California law, retaliation is considered any action taken by the employer that adversely affects their employment because the employee opposed or reported illegal conduct or practices in the workplace.
Health and safety retaliation in the workplace can occur in a number of ways and employers may use various tactics. For example, retaliation can include cutting hours, blocking advancement opportunities, fabricating reasons to terminate the employee, and reprimanding. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we aggressively advocate for clients who have been demoted, fired, denied their wages or a raise, or subjected to wrongful disciplinary action due to whistleblowing.
Depending on the retaliatory action that was taken against you, a wide variety of damages may be available. Under California Labor Code 1102.5, an employee who was subjected to retaliation might be eligible to recover the monetary losses they incurred as a result of the adverse employment action — in addition to damages for the emotional distress they may have suffered. Punitive damages are also available in cases in which the employer's conduct was particularly egregious.
You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for health and safety retaliation. California has a three-year statute of limitations in place for general whistleblowing retaliation, as well as those involving labor law violations and occupational health and safety complaints. However, you should be aware that there is a six-month time limit to file a retaliation complaint with the California Labor Commissioner after the retaliatory act occurs. Additionally, state employees have twelve months to make a complaint with the State Personnel Board.
Our wrongful termination attorney, Dean Ho, knows how overwhelming taking action against your employer can be. With a strategic focus on achieving a favorable outcome in your case, we will guide you through every step of the legal process and help to ease your emotional stress.
If you've been retaliated against for making a health and safety complaint in the workplace, it's essential to contact a qualified employment law attorney who can fight for your rights. Offering comprehensive counsel and reliable legal services, Optimum Employment Lawyers has extensive experience protecting the rights of clients throughout California who have been wronged by their employers. Contact us to schedule a consultation.