California is an at-will employment state, which means that employers can terminate employees without cause. Even though that might seem like it’s a free-for-all when it comes to termination, it isn’t. There are certain exclusions that apply to terminations and other negative employment actions.
Employers aren’t allowed to retaliate against employees who participate in specific activities, including reporting discrimination, harassment or criminal activity or cooperating with investigations.
How can your employer prevent retaliation?
An employer’s policies can help prevent retaliation. The expectations for all employees should be clearly outlined, as should the rules and disciplinary procedures for the company. Having everything in writing can help everyone know exactly what’s expected. This also shows that the policies are established for everyone in the company.
Additionally, employers should establish an open-door policy so employees can come to them about any issues that are occurring. The employees should know that they can do this without fear. This enables the employer to investigate the issues before they get out of hand.
As an employee, you should remember that participating in a protected activity doesn’t mean you can’t be terminated or face disciplinary action. Instead, it means that you can’t face those negative employment actions because of the protected activity.
No employee should have to deal with retaliation in the workplace. If you’ve been subjected to any form of negative employment actions because you participated in a protected activity related to work, you may have legal options available. Having legal guidance can help you determine the best option for addressing these issues and protecting your rights.