Federal and state labor laws protect Los Angeles workers, but many employees still hesitate to file complaints or take actions. No one wants to make trouble at work. Losing a paycheck is too risky for many workers.
However, employers who get away with harassment and discrimination aren’t going to stop as long as employees accept the status quo. Employers are aware of employment laws they’re expected to follow, but some companies ignore them. Failing to report misconduct and illegal activities is like giving employers permission abuse workers as they please.
Many California employees don’t realize employers can’t take actions against them for filing a complaint. This includes job applicants and workers who have been discriminated against or wrongfully disciplined, demoted, suspended or terminated. Employers may not retaliate against you for complaining to a police officer or a government agency.
Complaints may be filed with the state labor commissioner through the Department of Industrial Relations. You have six months to file a claim after the occurrence of retaliatory or discriminatory behavior. The filing time limit is extended up to two years for other employment offenses, depending upon the alleged misconduct.
This is a brave step but not one that a worker has to face alone. Employment attorneys listen to the stories workers tell them and can evaluate claims for their validity. Lawyers also can provide information and guidance about the steps you might wish to take to resolve the issue.
For many workers, the solution to a job problem means finding new work. You also have the choice to make a stand and help correct problems, which probably affect more co-workers than you realize. In fact, you may find other employees will join your efforts if the misconduct is widespread within a company.
If you aren’t sure what to do, it can’t hurt and it might help to air your concerns with an employment lawyer.