What If I Might Be Sick or Have Been Exposed? What if I am concerned about retaliation from my employer?

You Have a Right to Speak Up about Unsafe Work Practices

By law, your employer cannot retaliate against you for:

  • Requesting to take paid sick leave
  • Filing a wage claim
  • Reporting an unsafe or unhealthy condition
  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim

Retaliation Can Take Many Forms:

  • Getting fired or being put on suspension
  • Reduction in your pay or hours
  • Threats about immigration status or calls to immigration agencies

The law protects you, regardless of immigration status, against these acts of retaliation. If you believe your employer has retaliated against you, you can file a retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner's Office.

How to File a Retaliation Complaint

Any worker who believes their employer retaliated because the worker took an action protected by California labor law.

Complaints must be filed within one year of the retaliatory act, except for the following instances:

  • Whistleblowers retaliated against for raising child day care licensing violation complaints - 90 days
  • Equal Pay Act violations - within two years (three years if willful) of the violation

Gather any information showing your employer took action against you because you exercised your labor rights. For example:

  • Document any change in your employment conditions following the moment you exercised your rights, such as demotion or reductions in pay or hours.
  • Gather documents to compare your employment conditions prior to the moment you exercised your rights, such as pay stubs, time sheets, personnel evaluations or commendations, personal notes or other records.

You can file your complaint online.

If you prefer to submit your complaint by mail, complete the following steps:

  1. Download and complete the Retaliation Complaint.
  2. Print, complete the form thoroughly, sign and date it.
  3. Include copies of all supporting documents. Do not send originals.
  4. Mail or deliver the completed form and supporting documents to the Labor Commissioner’s Office location nearest you.

More Resources

February 2024