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What is retaliation and what can be done about it?

Employees in Fresno enjoy protection from discrimination under both federal law and California law. As this blog has discussed previously, these laws protect employees with certain characteristics from employment discrimination in hiring, firing and just about every personnel matter in between.

However, getting protection from discrimination necessarily implies that an employee is free to complain about it to their managers, and, if they don't get help from their employers, then they can take the issue to the state or federal authorities. An employer, therefore, cannot prevent an employee from exercising their legal rights by disciplining or firing the employee or otherwise treating the employee adversely.

Indeed, an employer who engages in such behavior is open to being sued for retaliation. For that matter, an employee who is not even the victim of discrimination can also sue if they are treated unfairly when trying to stand up for another victim's rights.

Specifically, employees have the right to participate in an official investigation without having to worry about their employers taking revenge on them in some way. Employees also have the freedom to resist and report discriminatory behavior and even to ask about other workers' salaries to uncover evidence of discrimination. However, an employee has to act on a reasonable belief that there has been a violation of state or federal anti-discrimination laws.

There are a number of subtle things an employer might do to an employee to hide the fact that they are trying to prevent an employee from doing what is right. However, a skilled employment law attorney can help victims spot these tactics and respond to them.

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