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Workplace retaliation claims on the rise in California and U.S.

Workers in Los Angeles and throughout the entire state of California have important rights in the workplace that are protected under anti-discrimination laws and other employment laws. Of course, these laws don't always prevent problems such as harassment and discrimination from occurring in the workplace. But these laws do mean that employers must make sure certain steps and actions are taken to properly address employees' complaints of harassment and discrimination.

Sometimes supervisors try to persuade workers into thinking that they have simply overreacted to a situation. There are also times when supervisors retaliate against workers for filing complaints in the workplace. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, more workers in California and throughout the entire country are experiencing retaliation for filing complaints about discrimination and harassment. Retaliation might be in the form of a demotion or the termination of an employee. Employees should understand that this is illegal.

The EEOC reported that retaliation claims are twice as more common today compared to the number of claims that were filed in the late '90s. During 2011, more than 36,000 workers reported that their employers had retaliated against them for trying to protect their rights in the workplace.

Some employment law experts believe that retaliation claims have increased dramatically over the years because workers have a better understanding of their rights. Others believe that it is more difficult for employers to fight retaliation claims when they fail to immediately address workers' complaints in an appropriate manner before more issues arise.

If your supervisor ignored your concerns about harassment and discrimination or if you lost your job shortly after filing a complaint, you may be able to take legal action in order to make sure that your voice is heard and that your rights as an employee remain protected. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to fight to get your job back while also making sure that your employer takes appropriate steps to improve the workplace for you and all other employees.

Source: Business Insurance, "Supervisory retaliation is growing liability for employers," Judy Greenwald, Aug. 5, 2012

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