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Employer Retaliation Attorney in Oakland, California

When an employee makes a complaint about discrimination or harassment in the workplace, files a workers’ compensation claim, or comes forward about illegal activity or unsafe conditions at work, they are protected by federal and state law.

Unfortunately, cases where employers retaliate against employees who participate in these and other protected activities are not unheard of.  

At The Law Office of Robert E. Wood, we do not tolerate any form of workplace retaliation and are dedicated to protecting the rights of workers. For nearly 40 years, our employer retaliation attorney in Oakland, California, has been helping employees stand up against retaliatory employers and fight for justice.  

We assist workers of all backgrounds who are dealing with workplace retaliation and need solid representation to enforce their legal rights. From our office in Oakland, we provide service throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  

What Is Employer Retaliation?

According to the definition provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, retaliation occurs when an employer takes any adverse action against an employee for engaging in “protected activities.” The action can be taken either directly by the employer or indirectly through a supervisor, manager, or administrator.  

A protected activity is any activity an employee has the right to engage in or an action they have the right to take without the fear of retaliation. Some common examples of protected activities are: 

  • Complaining about discrimination or harassment in the workplace 

  • Threatening to complain about discrimination or harassment in the workplace 

  • Participating in an internal investigation of discrimination or harassment 

  • Filing a workers' comp claim or receiving workers’ comp benefits 

  • Requesting reasonable accommodations for a medical condition or physical disability 

  • Reporting illegal activities or unsafe working conditions to the appropriate authorities 

  • Refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be illegal 

Retaliation is a common issue in workplaces across the United States. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation allegations were found in nearly half of all complaints filed during the studied period.  

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Adverse Actions That May Constitute Employer Retaliation

Employers retaliate against employees who engage in protected activities in a variety of ways, with terminating employment being some of the most common and obvious ones.  

However, there are also more subtle ways to retaliate against an employee. Whether subtle or blatant, any adverse action taken to retaliate against an employee for exercising their rights or engaging in protected activities may constitute employer retaliation, including: 

  • Firing or laying off. 

  • Demoting. 

  • Reassigning to a less favorable project, position, shift, or work location. 

  • Increasing workloads. 

  • Excluding from work meetings. 

  • Passing over for promotions. 

  • Reducing pay. 

  • Terminating benefits or bonuses. 

  • Denying a raise. 

  • Cutting back work hours. 

  • Giving negative performance reviews. 

Employees may not always realize they are being retaliated against. And some of those who think they are being the victim of employer retaliation may not have merit to sue their employer. Either way, it may be a good idea to contact an attorney who can provide you with an unbiased assessment of the case before proceeding with a retaliation claim.

Our attorney at The Law Office of Robert E. Wood can review the surrounding facts of your case and provide advice on the right course of action.  

Proving Employer Retaliation in California

The State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) offers two methods to file a retaliation complaint: online and by mail. Regardless of which filing method you choose, you will need to substantiate your claim with sufficient evidence. Proving employer retaliation involves establishing a link between:  

  1. Your engagement in a specific protected activity AND 

  1. Your employer’s adverse action against you in retaliation.  

Some of the ways to establish this correlation and document employer retaliation may include: 

  • Emails. 

  • Written or verbal statements. 

  • Witness statements. 

  • A documented timeline of events (e.g., your complaint regarding discrimination in the workplace that was filed in April and the employer’s email informing you of demotion received in May). 

In many cases, the evidence that can help you prove the link between a protected activity and retaliation is available for a limited period of time only. For this reason, you might want to consider working with an employer retaliation attorney in Oakland, California to preserve all the evidence necessary to strengthen your claim and develop a comprehensive legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.  

What Compensation Can You Get for Employer Retaliation?

If your employer has retaliated against you and you can prove it, you may be entitled to both employment benefits and financial compensation. Our attorney at The Law Office of Robert E. Wood has helped employees who experienced retaliation on the job to secure compensation for: 

  • Unpaid wages. 

  • Lost benefits and bonuses. 

  • Lost employment opportunities (raise, promotion, and others). 

  • Reinstatement to the job if applicable. 

  • Pain and suffering. 

  • Legal fees. 

  • Court costs. 

  • Punitive damages to punish the employer and deter others from engaging in the same behavior. 

At The Law Office of Robert E. Wood, we understand that employer retaliation can not only disrupt and damage your career but also negatively impact your personal life. That is why we are committed to zealously advocating for fair and equitable treatment of employees and fighting for justice in employer retaliation cases.  

Speak With an Employer Retaliation Attorney in Oakland, California

If you believe your employer is trying to punish you for exercising your legal rights or engaging in a protected activity, connect with our employer retaliation attorney at The Law Office of Robert E. Wood. We understand the courage it takes to stand up for what’s right. We can help you devise a strong legal strategy to pursue a retaliation claim and fight for justice. Get in touch now to schedule your free consultation.