In general, California is an at-will employment law state. That means your employer may fire you with little or no reason at all. But the at-will employment doctrine is far from absolute. State and federal laws prohibit employers from firing a worker in retaliation for exercising a legal right. Retaliation complaints are fairly common across the country. Managers and businesses frequently take adverse action against workers, despite the existence of workers’ rights laws.
The most common form of retaliation is wrongful termination. However, any adverse employment decision that impacts the terms and conditions of your employment may constitute unlawful retaliation. California companies have a duty to maintain a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and unsafe conditions. Similarly, if you have a medical condition that impacts one or more major life activities, you have the right to ask for reasonable accommodations to allow you to continue to work without being retaliated against for doing so.
Unfortunately, California employers frequently retaliate against workers who complain about unsafe conditions, unfair pay, illegal activities such as fraud, discrimination, harassment, as well as against workers who request disability accommodations, pregnancy leave, or family and medical leave. If you believe that you have been denied a promotion, demoted, fired, transferred to an unfavorable job or faced other action as punishment for exercising a legal right, consult with a qualified employment law attorney as soon as possible to learn about your rights and how to protect them.