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What can be done when an employer retaliates?

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Among the many laws that companies must comply with in the state of California are those that govern how they may or may not treat their employees or people who are seeking employment with them. Among these laws is the clear identification that is it illegal for a company to retaliate against an employee. This may be done through demotions, terminations, job denials or other actions. If you believe you have been retaliated against, you should know your rights.

One of your most basic rights is the right to file a complaint with the state of California. According to the state Department of Industrial Relations, your complaint would be lodged with the California Labor Commissioner. You must file a complaint within the allotted timeframe. For most cases, this means within six months of the date on which your retaliatory action took place. In some other situations this window may be as short as 90 days or as long as 12 months.

Upon receiving your complaint, the Labor Commissioner will launch an investigation that will ultimately lead to a determination. If the determination is returned in your favor and indicates that a company has broken the law, that company has 10 days in which to rectify the situation or to file an appeal. The state can take court action to force compliance with its determination if need be.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give California employees an overview about how they may pursue assistance and justice when they have been retaliated against by an employer or potential employer.

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