Advocating For California Employee Rights

What are legally protected activities for employees?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2022 | Discrimination

The law protects employees from employer retaliation for taking part in protected activities. It means that your employer cannot dismiss you or take any adverse action in retaliation for participating in these activities. 

If they do, it is against the law and is in violation of your workers’ rights. Here is what you need to know about protected activities.

Examples of protected activities

As an employee, you should not be punished or retaliated against for asserting your right to be free from discrimination and harassment at your workplace. Anything you do towards that can be considered a protected activity. 

It includes:

  • Filing or assisting investigations in a workplace discrimination claim
  • Requesting reasonable accommodation from your employer due to a disability
  • Rejecting and reporting sexual advances or intervening to protect others
  • Inquiring salary details from colleagues or your employer to unearth discriminatory wages
  • Whistleblowing
  • Not following orders that could result in discrimination, among others

The list above is not even close to exhaustive, and there could be other instances of protected activities depending on the context.

Are you facing retaliation for engaging in protected activity?

Employers often mask retaliation by claiming their actions were justified, alluding to performance and discipline issues. Therefore, if you are facing workplace retaliation, it is crucial to gather supporting evidence first. Communication records, colleague statements or other evidence pointing to retaliation can be helpful.

You may first want to go through your company’s internal procedures. Raise the issue with your supervisor or the HR department and ask it to stop. 

If the retaliation persists or your complaint is not fully addressed, it may be time to explore your other legal solutions. They include filing a claim with the relevant regulatory bodies or even suing your employer in a court of law.