If you are a business owner, the ability to effectively interact with and manage your employees is critically important for the long-term success of your business. This is especially true if an employee departs, or is terminated, and the relationship takes a negative turn. It is essential not to act out of emotion and instead operate with the best interests of the business in mind. Why is this so important? Taking certain actions against an employee could be deemed retaliatory in nature and create significant legal exposure for you and your business.
New, Harsher Penalties for Retaliation
The potential penalties employers may face in a retaliation claim increased in 2018 with the passage of S.B. 306. The relatively new law includes provisions that would require an employer to pay “reasonable attorney’s fees”to the employee, in addition to financial restitution and fines of up to $10,000 if the labor commissioner determines a retaliatory action against an employee occurred.
In addition, the new law empowers the labor commissioner to issue citations directly to the employer, rather than having to go through a court. This means the employer would have to bear the legal expense of challenging the citation via appeal.
For many business owners in and around Los Angeles, the prospect of spending tens of thousands of dollars as a result of a retaliation claim is not financially feasible. This is why it is imperative to work with an experienced Los Angeles business attorney when you first suspect a retaliation issue could potentially arise from an incident with a current or former employee. A skilled business lawyer will help you with the immediate retaliation claim, but also conduct a thorough audit of the policies and protocols in place for your business to ensure they comply with the new employment laws in California.
Prohibition against Retaliation
In California, employees have the legal right to report alleged labor violations to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. It is important to note that employers are prohibited from engaging in retaliatory actions against employees for a number of reasons, such as:
- An employee reporting and serving on a jury;
- Notifying the proper authorities of alleged workplace harassment;
- Holding certain political beliefs
Actions that Could Be Considered Retaliatory
Common examples of actions taken by an employer that could be deemed retaliatory against an employee include:
- Suddenly decreasing the wages of an employee;
- Sudden termination of the employee;
- Opting not to provide any severance compensation previously guaranteed; and
- Docking vacation pay or benefits.
Have Questions? Consult with an Experienced Business Lawyer in Los Angeles Today
If you are a business owner embroiled in a legal dispute, it is in your best interest to retain the services of a skilled and experienced business lawyer in Los Angeles such as the experts at Hakim Law Group. Our law firm represents a wide range of entrepreneurs, operating companies, venture capital firms, and financiers in numerous sectors of the economy. We possess the experience, knowledge and professionalism to help our clients attain the best possible outcome. To schedule a consultation or for further information please contact HLG at (310) 993-2203 or visit www.HakimLawGroup.com to learn more.
- business lawyer