A jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska awarded Paul Blakeslee $3.5 million in damages for his claim of retaliation. Blakeslee worked for Shaw Environment & Infrastructure Inc., a contractor for the U.S. Army. When Blakeslee reported that another manager was charging the army exorbitant rates for equipment leased from his own company, Shaw fired him. The jury concluded that this was retaliation in violation of federal law.
What is retaliation?
Retaliation happens when an employer fires or executes adverse action against an employee who filed a discrimination claim or reported other forms of workplace violations. The employee’s claim of retaliation requires no proof that the discrimination actually occurred.
California’s retaliation law
California Labor Code § 1102.5 states that an employer may not retaliate against an employee for reporting information to a state or federal law enforcement agency when the employee possessed reasonable cause that the information disclosed a violation of state or federal law. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits retaliation against an employee for protesting illegal discrimination in employment. If an employee files a complaint of racial discrimination with FEHA, the employer may not demote, suspend, discipline or fire the employee for exercising his or her legal rights.
Deadline for filing your complaint
A complaint of discrimination and retaliation in violation of the laws under the jurisdiction of the labor commissioner must be filed within six months of the alleged date of discriminatory or retaliatory act.
Proving retaliation claims may be challenging. Employing an experienced attorney helps you prepare the most effective legal case.