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Can I file a Retaliation complaint against my employer for laying me off because they do not have a position for me?

Modesto, CA |

my employer laid me off because the company had to relocate but they kept my coworker sending her to another city, taking hours away from other employees to give her some hours but they are not willing to do that for me, with the excuse that they have no hours to give me. I believe it is retaliation towards me because I was defending my rights when some security/safety issues were going on at my work place. What should I do?

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Attorney answers 3


The answer to your question really depends on what it is you complained about and whether you can prove you were included in the layoff for that reason, or for other non-retaliatory reasons. Suspicions are not enough.

If your complaint is protected by one of several statutes then you might have a claim, but your bigger problem will be proving that you were treated differently was because of those protected complaints.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


While you may have a wrongful termination in violation of public policy claim, if you can document the complaints and they are specific, the employer would have a strong defense if they truly relocated and terminated other employees.

This would be a difficult claim to prevail on,. given these facts

Please check the law of your state


I agree with Mr. Pedersen that if any remedy exists, it is most likely in the whistleblower area. Whistleblowers are employees who refuse to violate the law, or who report wrongdoing that harms the public or has the potential to harm the public. The wrongdoer can be a private employer, a private entity, a federal, state or local government, or another employee. Usually, but not always, the wrongdoing benefits the person or entity that engages in the wrongdoing. Harm to the public may be caused by inflated prices, dangerous products, environmental harm, and more.

Whistleblowers are protected by law. The purpose of whistleblower protection laws is to allow employees to report, stop or testify about this kind of wrongdoing, as a benefit to the public. Note that complaints about wrongdoing that only harm the employer itself are not protected by whistleblowing laws. Many whistleblower laws have a very short time period in which to file a claim. Please see my Avvo guide to whistleblowers for more information about whistleblowing:

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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