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San Diego Retaliation Attorney

If you believe you have suffered retaliation at work for exercising your legal rights, you need an experienced retaliation attorney on your side. Hamparyan Law Firm has over 20 years representing retaliation victims in San Diego. Contact our employment lawyers today at (619) 550-1355 for a free consultation on your case.

What is Workplace Retaliation?

Workplace retaliation happens when an employer takes adverse action against an employee or employees for engaging in legally protected activities. Protected activities may include:

  1. Reporting harassment, discrimination, health/safety issues
  2. Requesting reasonable accommodation
  3. Taking medical leave
  4. Filing a workers’ compensation claim
  5. Whistleblowing

If your employer demotes, fires, denies a promotion, or takes other negative action against you shortly after you exercised these rights, they may be retaliating illegally.Common adverse actions in retaliation cases include:

  1. Termination
  2. Demotion
  3. Unfair discipline
  4. Reduction in pay or hours
  5. Hostile work environment

What are some examples of adverse actions by employers?

Retaliation can take many forms at work. In addition to termination, demotion or harassment, other common discrimination or harassment actions include:

  • Denial of a promotion
  • Unfair disciplinary measures
  • Sudden poor performance evaluations
  • Reduced pay or work hours
  • Making work conditions intolerable
  • Removing job duties and responsibilities
  • Exclusion from work meetings and communications

These measures are often precursors building a case towards wrongful termination. An attorney can analyze the adverse actions to help prove illegal retaliation.

Proving a Retaliation Claim

To build a strong retaliation case, you must prove three key elements:

You Engaged in a Protected Activity

Examples include filing an EEOC complaint for discrimination, reporting wage violations to the labor board, requesting medical leave under the FMLA, or reporting safety issues to OSHA.

Your Employer Took Adverse Action Against You

This could include termination, demotion, harassment, denial of promotion, or other negative employment actions.

There is a Link Between the Protected Activity and the Adverse Action

For example, you reported discrimination and were fired a week later. The timing and circumstances of the retaliatory action can help establish the causal connection. The burden of proof falls on the employee to demonstrate these elements and prove the employer acted illegally. An experienced retaliation lawyer can help build your case.

Your Legal Options After Retaliation

If you have suffered adverse employment action and retaliation at work, you have several options to exercise your rights under federal and California employment laws.

File a Complaint with Government Agencies

You can file a retaliation claim with the EEOC or report illegal termination actions to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). They will investigate the complaint against your employer at no cost to you.

File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer

If the administrative process does not resolve your retaliation claim, your next step is to file a lawsuit. There are strict deadlines so it is important to act promptly. You can sue for retaliation under federal laws like Title VII or the ADA. California law also protects employees from retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).The potential remedies available if you win your case include:

  1. Reinstatement to your job
  2. Back pay
  3. Emotional distress damages
  4. Punitive damages
  5. Attorney’s fees

Key Steps to Take After Retaliation

If you believe your employer retaliated against you illegally, here are some important steps to take:

  1. Document Everything – Keep a detailed record of meetings, disciplinary notices, harassing incidents, denied requests, and other relevant events. These will become critical evidence.
  2. Report Retaliation Internally – If possible, file an internal complaint to your HR department about the retaliation. Get any response in writing.
  3. Contact an Attorney Immediately – Do not delay in speaking to an experienced retaliation lawyer who can protect your rights.
  4. File Claims Promptly – There are strict deadlines, usually 180 days to file claims under state and federal anti-retaliation laws.
  5. Allow Your Lawyer to Handle Communications – Once you have legal counsel, let them interface with your employer regarding the dispute so you avoid missteps.

Warning Signs of Retaliation From Employers

While some adverse actions are clearly retaliatory, others can appear trivial at first. Some warning signs your boss may be building a retaliation case against you include:

  1. Sudden change in treatment by management
  2. Harsher application of policies towards you
  3. Unfair criticism or discipline
  4. Threats, verbal abuse, intimidation
  5. Restrictions on communications
  6. Isolating you from co-workers

If you experience retaliation, contact our San Diego employment attorneys immediately to protect yourself. The sooner we get involved, the better.

How Hamparyan Law Firm Can Help

With over 20 years representing retaliation victims, our San Diego law firm has helped employees fight back against retaliation and obtained substantial recoveries. Our San Diego employment lawyers have the litigation experience to handle your retaliation case from start to finish. Our attorneys will:

  1. Thoroughly investigate your retaliation claim
  2. Build a strong case proving illegal retaliation occurred
  3. Send aggressive demand letters requesting compensation from the employer
  4. File complaints with the EEOC or California’s DFEH if necessary
  5. Take legal action against employers violating anti-retaliation laws
  6. Negotiate the best possible settlement or litigate your case through trial

Attorney Robert Hamparyan has been honored as Trial Lawyer of the Year. We have the resources and tenacity to stand up to employers who have wronged you.


Potential Damages And Compensation In A Retaliation Lawsuit

If you win your retaliation case, there are several types of damages you may recover as compensation, including:

Lost Wages and Benefits

If you were wrongfully terminated or demoted due to retaliation, the court can award you money to cover the pay and benefits you lost. This includes back pay to cover what you already lost up to the time of trial.


Courts have the power to order employers to reinstate you to your former position. However, this is not always the best outcome if relations with your employer are damaged beyond repair.

Front Pay

If being reinstated is impractical, courts may order the employer to pay future lost earnings. This front pay covers expected salary and benefits losses going forward.

Emotional Distress

You can receive money damages for the emotional suffering retaliation caused, like humiliation, anxiety, stress, and harm to your reputation.

Punitive Damages

If the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious, you may recover punitive damages meant to punish them for willful or malicious retaliation.

Attorney’s Fees and Costs

If you win your case, the court requires the employer to pay your reasonable attorney’s fees and legal costs spent pursuing your claim. This makes hiring a lawyer accessible.An experienced employment lawyer can help estimate the potential value of your retaliation claim based on your losses and assess what damages to seek. The goal is achieving full compensation for the harm illegal retaliation caused your career and well-being. With strong evidence, we can build a case to recover sizable damages against unscrupulous employers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Retaliation Claims

What should I do if I am terminated after reporting harassment?

If you are fired shortly after reporting discriminatory harassment at work, this may constitute illegal retaliation in the workplace Document all details surrounding your complaint and termination. Do not delay – contact an employment lawyer immediately so they can send a letter demanding reinstatement while pursuing a retaliation claim. There are strict deadlines so time is critical. An attorney may negotiate with your employer or file official complaints on your behalf. They can also take legal action seeking reinstatement, back pay, damages, and attorney’s fees if the employer violated retaliation laws by firing you.

What evidence do I need to prove retaliation occurred?

Some key evidence to prove employer retaliation may include documentation showing you engaged in legally protected activity, such as an email or letter with your harassment complaint. Records of disciplinary notices, denial of promotion, differential treatment compared to co-workers, and other adverse actions help demonstrate retaliation. Timing between your complaint and the employer’s punitive response is also critical, such as being terminated days after requesting medical leave. Witness statements from colleagues who observed retaliation from your employer may bolster your claim as well. An experienced lawyer will know how to gather the right evidence and build a convincing retaliation case.

Are there deadlines to file a retaliation claim?

Yes, strict deadlines apply when filing a retaliation claim or lawsuit after suffering adverse action from an employer. At the federal level, you typically have 180 days to file a charge with the EEOC for retaliation violations of Title VII or the ADA. California law also imposes a 180-day deadline to file a complaint with the state’s DFEH for violations of protected rights. These deadlines apply from the actual date of retaliation. An employment lawyer can advise you on next steps for preserving your rights. Acting promptly is essential or you may be barred from seeking relief.

Can I sue my employer for retaliation under California employment law?

Yes, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it illegal for employers to retaliating against workers who exercise their protected rights under state law. FEHA retaliation claims allow employees to recover financial damages through private lawsuits against the employer. Talk to an attorney about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If litigation is necessary and your case has merit, an employment lawyer can represent you in court against the employer seeking justice.

What damages can I recover in a retaliation lawsuit?

Remedies available in a successful retaliation lawsuit may include: reinstatement to your previous job, back pay to cover lost wages, future wage loss if reinstatement is not feasible, compensation for emotional distress suffered, punitive damages to punish the employer, and attorney’s fees spent litigating your case. An employment lawyer will fight for full compensation owed for the retaliation you endured. The potential value depends on the losses you incurred, severity of the employer’s conduct, size of the company, and other factors.**

How much does it cost to hire a San Diego employment retaliation attorney?

Most employment attorneys handle retaliation cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs to you. The attorney receives a percentage (typically 33-40%) of the final settlement or award if your case is successful. If you lose, you pay nothing for the attorney’s work. This allows employees to pursue justice against employers without worrying about expensive legal fees. Initial consultations are also usually free. Hiring a lawyer on contingency is risk-free and the best way to fight workplace retaliation.

Do I have to report employer retaliation to my company first?

No, employees can immediately file a retaliation claim with a government agency, such as the EEOC or California’s DFEH, without first complaining internally to their employer about the issue. Reporting retaliation to your human resources department can help build evidence and show you took steps to resolve matters internally. However, involving a lawyer promptly is wise as well. They can help assess risks of internal reporting and guide your actions.

How long does a retaliation case take to resolve?

The duration of a retaliation lawsuit depends on several factors. Cases may take between a few months up to 1-2 years or longer to finalize. Simple cases with clear evidence of retaliation can potentially settle faster. More complex litigation involving extensive discovery, numerous witnesses, appeals, and trial can prolong the process. An attorney can evaluate your case specifics and provide guidance on realistic timeframes. Stay patient throughout the legal proceedings.

Can I get my job back if I was fired in retaliation?

Yes, courts can order employers to reinstate employees to their previous jobs if they were terminated illegally in retaliation for protected activities. Judges may award additional damages for lost wages during the period you were out of work. Reinstatement is not always the best outcome though and may be unworkable if relations with management are completely broken. Discuss options thoroughly with your lawyer if you wish to return to a hostile work environment. Negotiating a cash settlement or front pay agreement is sometimes preferable.


Suffering from Workplace Retaliation In San Diego ? Need A San Diego Retaliation Lawyer? Schedule A Free Consultation From Hamparyan Law Firm Today 

If you have suffered retaliation for exercising your workplace rights, contact our experienced San Diego employment attorneys online or call us at (619) 550-1355 for a free consultation. We are here to help employees fight against illegal retaliation in California.


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