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Situations in which you're protected from wrongful termination

Many California residents find themselves in difficult situations at their workplaces where they have witnessed or been subjected to unlawful things. In these incidents, the victims or witnesses may be terrified to report the problems to superiors out of fear of retribution or of losing their jobs.

For instance, perhaps you saw a supervisor sexually harassing your coworker. Or, due to your position and job, you were privy to information about embezzlement by a colleague or supervisor. Alternatively, you might have knowledge that your company is violating environmental protection laws.

Under no circumstances can your employer or your supervisors retaliate against you for reporting these activities. Also, you cannot be harassed for corroborating a coworker's account of sexual harassment. You have the right to report this wrongful behavior to supervisors, to the human resources department and to appropriate governmental authorities without fear of reprisal.

What constitutes retaliation exactly? Retaliation might be wrongful termination, but it could also be more subtle. Maybe you get punished by having your hours reduced. Perhaps you suffered a loss in pay, were given a less-convenient schedule or you were forced to work in unfair working conditions.

In California, if you've been retaliated against and/or lost your job because of unfair and unlawful reasons, you can pursue justice in court by filing an EEOC employment law claim. If successfully navigated, such a claim could help you get your job back and/or obtain compensation for lost income and opportunities, psychological turmoil and injuries and other damages that you may have experienced due to employment retaliation or wrongful termination.

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