Throughout the California and Federal Employment Law Statutes, some of the most important protections against illegal discrimination are found in the statutory provisions that prohibit Retaliation against employees who report Discrimination, or who report Wages and Hours Violations or Health and Safety Violations. There are separate groups of Statutes that prohibit Discrimination, and another set of statutes that give employees protections to be sure that they are fully and fairly paid for the time that they work. These are referred to as Wages and Hours laws. In addition, another body of statutes deal with Workplace Safety. Both California and Federal Law have statutes that were passed protecting against Discrimination, regulate Wages and Hours of workers, and Health and Safety in the workplace. Both under California Law, and under Federal Law, the legislatures also enacted Retaliation Provisions to be sure that workers who report violations of these important statutes, and even witnesses who help by testifying about violations of the laws against discrimination, the laws regulating Wages and Hours, and the laws dealing with workplace safety, are protected against Retaliation. Someone who is retaliated against, even if he or she is only a witness, may have claims for damages on account of being retaliated against. A person can have a retaliation claim under the laws against Discrimination, even if he or she is not a member of a minority group protected by the Discrimination laws, if the person is a witness who could testify about the discrimination, or a co-worker who opposed the discriminatory conduct. There are similar protections for persons who are witnesses as to Wage and Hour Violations, even if the witness was paid correctly, and for persons who opposed Wages and Hours Violations. The same is true for persons who are witnesses who know about health and safety problems, or who opposed health and safety violations in the workplace.
The Anti-Retaliation provisions of the Employment Law Statutes are some of the most important parts of these statutes, because the Anti-Retaliation provisions make it possible to enforce the laws against discrimination, Wages and Hours Violations, and Workplace Safety Violations, by giving protections to witnesses and to people who opposed illegal employer conduct in the workplace.
For more information about Retaliation protections in Employment Law, call Susan G. Cohen at 916-882-0242.