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It might seem as though your employer holds all the cards when it comes to your work. The truth is that federal and California laws are in place to protect you. The prohibition against employer retaliation applies whether you report wrongdoing, allege some sort of discrimination or harassment, or take an extended leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act.

Unfortunately, some California employers will ignore these laws. You could find yourself demoted or without a job and a source of income. If this happens to you, it would be beneficial to understand your legal rights. Employers who engage in retaliatory behaviors are often subject to civil penalties and, in some cases, criminal penalties as well.

The FMLA and CFRA prevent employers from altering your employment status, including terminating your employment, while you are on leave under these acts. If you make a good faith claim of wrongdoing against your employer, even if you are wrong, your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you. Many forms of discrimination are not tolerated under both federal and California law, and if your employer retaliates against you for reporting it, you have rights.

If you believe you are the victim of employer retaliation, discuss the matter with an attorney as soon as possible. He or she will explain your legal rights and, after reviewing your situation, will be able to discern whether your employer violated federal or state law. If appropriate, a lawsuit could be filed that might provide you with both monetary and non-monetary relief for the damages you incurred at the hands of your employer.