California law provides various forms of protections for workers here. One area where those protections comes into play is retaliation against a worker for exercising her legal rights. There are many acts that a worker may do and the employer cannot punish the worker for it or, if they do, they are in violation of the law. One of these rights is availing yourself to the legal system to challenge your employer’s violation of employment laws, such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your job in retaliation for exercising your rights, you should contact an experienced Oakland employment attorney about your situation.
A.Q. was a worker in a similar and unfortunate situation. She was an employee who worked at an Orange County restaurant and who sued after the employer allegedly failed to pay overtime wages in accordance with federal “wage and hour” laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act. A.Q. won that lawsuit.
Along the way, though, the employer fired A.Q. This allowed the employee to pursue an additional claim against the employer–wrongful termination. The law forbids employers from firing employees in retaliation for exercising their constitutional right to pursue civil litigation in court. This kind of termination is illegal if the employee has proof that the exercise of a constitutional right (such as filing a FLSA lawsuit) triggered the firing, unless the employer can persuade the court that there was a different, valid and independent reason that was the actual basis for the termination.