In recent times, workers from many different industries have described their own experiences with racism on the job. While individuals in California and elsewhere may feel compelled to share their stories, some may feel as if doing so could put their jobs in jeopardy. Generally speaking, state and federal laws require that companies provide workplaces that are free from discrimination. Furthermore, employers are not allowed to terminate or otherwise retaliate against employees for speaking out about potential violations of employment or other laws.
This is true whether a worker expresses his or her dissatisfaction directly to a supervisor or by publishing content to a social media profile. Employees who work together to seek changes to their working conditions may be protected by the National Labor Relations Act, even if those employees are not part of a union.
It is important to point out that terminating an employee is not the only way that companies may illegally retaliate against that person. For instance, demoting a worker or cutting that person’s pay after taking part in a protected workplace activity may also be seen as retaliatory. In some cases, the action may be seen as retaliation even if it takes place months or years after a worker speaks out about improper working conditions.
Workers who believe that their employers have violated state or federal employment law may want to hire attorneys to help with their cases. An attorney may be able to use statements from managers or recent performance reviews to show that a company attempted to retaliate against a worker. If a claim is successful, an individual may be entitled to compensation for back pay, the value of benefits lost or other damages allowed by law.