Joseph H Ainley, employment attorney, on Retaliation

The Law Offices of Joseph H. Ainley provide services to cover all of your employment-related legal needs. The bulk of our practice is devoted to litigation in cases, for example, where the employee has been wrongfully terminated, or an individual or a group of people have been denied overtime benefits. We also offer employment counsel. Frequently, employees face a situation at work which potentially has profound consequences for them, but they are unsure how best to act. In this context, one issue that is repeatedly of concern is where an employee is offered a severance package in exchange for a release of claims that they employee may have against his or her former employer. In this situation, legal counsel can be invaluable in maximizing the amount of any severance package.  Some of the specific areas in which we are pleased to offer services are the following:


The law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees, by taking any adverse employment action against them, for a wide variety of activities. It is unlawful, for example, for an employer to retaliate against an employee who: (1) reports illegal activity to a government entity (Labor Code ß 1102.5); (2) files a workersí compensation claim or testifies on behalf of a person who files a workersí compensation claim (Labor Code ß 132a); (3) reports suspected illegal activity to their superior; (4) files a claim for discrimination or harassment, or who testifies or otherwise supports a claim of discrimination and/or harassment (Government Code ß 12940); (5) reports unsafe working conditions; (6) complains of or reports overtime or other wage and hour violations; (7) exercises any right permitted by statute; (8) retains legal counsel and/or files administrative complaints or lawsuits against his or her employer.

Broadly stated, an employee has the right to complain of illegal behavior by the employer or conduct by the employer which violates the public policy of California. The public policy of California is generally any policy which is articulated by statute or is otherwise ìclosely tetheredî to a statute or to an otherwise clearly articulated policy of the State of California. Again, identifying the policy at stake and putting together the facts of the case so that the action can be readily identified as retaliatory are tasks that require considerable skill and experience. At Ainley Law, we pride ourselves in having exactly such skill and experience.