It’s an unfortunate truth that workplace discrimination happens much more frequently than it is reported. In some cases, this is because the employee is afraid of retaliation if they come forward with their complaint. This creates a situation that has left countless California employees unsure whether it’s safe for them to even report their case of workplace discrimination internally.
You are protected from retaliation
Fearing retaliation from your employer is a completely natural concern: The boss is the gatekeeper who seemingly holds all the power, after all. Many people worry about consequences ranging from docked pay or cut hours all the up to losing the job altogether.
But bringing forth workplace discrimination complaints isn’t something you should have to worry about being fired over since there are laws that protect employees from this type of retaliation. Employers are forbidden from taking any materially adverse action against an employee for engaging in an activity that’s protected by these laws.
“Materially adverse actions” include things like demoting the individual or reducing their salary. It is meant to include anything that an employer could do to deter individuals from bringing their complaints forward.
Employees who complain about discrimination in the workplace, participate in a workplace discrimination investigation, or even simply openly oppose workplace discrimination are protected from employer retaliation by employment law. Unfortunately, many employees aren’t aware of this and numerous employers take advantage of it.
When employer retaliation happens to you, it may be possible to use legal action to receive monetary compensation for the harm that was caused. Experiencing retaliation for reporting discrimination in the workplace may entitle you to back wages, compensation for emotional distress, reimbursement for legal fees, and reinstatement into your position if you were fired.
Every year, countless instances of workplace discrimination go unreported. It’s important that every employee understand their protection from retaliation when reporting discrimination in the workplace so this trend may be discontinued.