As a worker in the State of California, you have the right to cooperate with investigators who suspect that your employer may have engaged in unsafe or illegal practices. An example of such a practice would be ignoring OSHA safety regulations. Additionally, you have the right to file reports with government agencies and law enforcement groups if you suspect your employer is violating safety regulations or breaking the law in some capacity.
Some might even argue you have a responsibility to act when you have reason to believe your employer is behaving unethically or illegally. To return to the previous example, if your employer is not taking safety regulations seriously, by filing a report, you could prevent your coworkers from being involved in accidents.
California law protects workers who “blow the whistle” on their employers. Unfortunately, these laws don’t always stop employers from retaliating against whistleblowers.
You can enlist the help of a Los Angeles employment law and workplace retaliation attorney to pursue financial compensation if you have been fired, forced to resign, or otherwise mistreated by your employer after reporting their illegal or unsafe actions (or lack of action). To optimize your chances of winning a case, you should strive to gather evidence and document the retaliation you have experienced. Ways you can do so include the following:
If you think you have been the victim of workplace retaliation, save any and all forms of correspondence between yourself, your supervisor, any potential witnesses, and virtually anyone else who might play some role in your case later.
Naturally, you want to save any correspondence (such as emails, voicemails, etc.) that indicates you have been retaliated against. However, if you still have them, it’s also wise to save examples of correspondence that suggest your performance at the company has historically been strong and appreciated. For example, if you have old emails and copies of performance reviews indicating you were a model employee, but your supervisor suddenly began claiming your performance was poor after you reported a workplace safety violation or another such issue, you could demonstrate a link between being a whistleblower and losing the esteem of your employer.
This is a common mistake employees make when attempting to build cases against employers who they believe have retaliated against them. Because California law generally requires parties to consent to be recorded, if you secretly record interactions between yourself and a supervisor or coworker, the “evidence” you gather might be of no use. You’re better off simply writing down a thorough description of an interaction that you believe supports your retaliation case whenever such an interaction occurs.
Filing a complaint with your company’s HR department does not guarantee HR will help you hold your employer accountable. However, when you take legal action, you need to be able to show that your concerns were serious enough that you attempted to address the issue internally. If you don’t take this step, your employer or their attorney could argue that you don’t have a valid complaint and are merely seeking undeserved financial compensation.
Most importantly, seek representation from a Los Angeles employment law attorney who has experience handling cases like yours. Learn more about your options by contacting The Kaufman Law Firm online or calling us at 310-981-3404 to schedule a consultation.
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Your job is more than just a source of income. It is a major part of your lifestyle. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, wrongful demotion or any kind of discriminatory business practices, it is time to take action and contact a Ventura employment law attorney that can help. Attorney Matthew A. Kaufman and the team at The Kaufman Law Firm bring experience and a vast arsenal of legal resources to help clients recover the money they deserve.
To learn more, contact our Westlake Village or Los Angeles law office today and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.