24 Apr Work with experienced counsel when suing an employer for retaliation
When an employee takes actions at work that are unpopular but necessary in order to fulfill his or her duty and the law, the response can be a challenge to deal with, whether the retaliation comes from coworkers, a supervisor or upper management. The backlash can be so bad that it forces an employee to quit, which is exactly the point in some cases.
Take, for example, the case of a former Caltrans employee who is currently suing the agency on the grounds that she was subjected to retaliation at work for reporting the discovery of pornographic email exchanges between employees at her office. In addition to hostile treatment from coworkers, she claims that coworkers damaged her car on more than one occasion and that she was passed up for a promotion, despite being told that she was the most qualified. Ultimately, the woman quit her job.
Now, she is suing for damages under the Whistle blower Protection Act, which protects federal whistle blowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct. Similar protections are in place at the state level, under the California Whistle blower Protection Act.
Workers who are subjected to retaliation on the job deserve to be compensated for losses stemming from retaliatory conduct. Not every form of adverse treatment in the workplace qualifies as retaliation, though, and proving damages is not an easy task. It is important, therefore, for workers who feel they have been retaliated against to work with an experienced attorney to have their case evaluated and to build the strongest case possible.