My boss fired me because I made a complaint about discrimination. Is that legal in California?

I’m sorry to hear about your termination. No, under both federal and state law, it is not legal to fire someone because they engaged in a legally protected activity, such as complaining about discrimination. You should speak with a California employment attorney who can help determine how best to pursue your claim.

As an employee, you have certain legal rights. Among those legal rights is the right to not be discriminated against or harassed because of your age, sex, race, religion, disability, national origin, and other factors. If you are ever discriminated against or harassed based on those factors, you may choose to file a complaint with a state or federal agency, or call an attorney. As you can imagine, employers normally are not happy when they learn that they are being investigated for violations of state or federal law, or receive a phone call from an employment law attorney.

However, it is illegal for an employer to file you because of your complaint. In addition, your employer cannot punish you in any other way, such as by reducing your salary or benefits, changing your position, taking disciplinary actions against you, or changing your job shift. In many cases, it can be difficult to tell if an employer is retaliating against you because you made a complaint. Legally, you must look at all the surrounding circumstances of the situation in order to determine whether the employer retaliated, and whether or not that retaliation has an effect on your employment.

If you believe that you have been the victim of workplace retaliation after making a complaint about a boss, you should speak to either the supervisor or someone in human resources. You may also wish to speak with an attorney. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment law attorney at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.