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What is involved in filing a retaliation complaint

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California has laws preventing retaliation that include processes for reporting and oversight.

According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, job applicants, employees and former employees who have suffered retaliation have the right to file a complaint. Here are the steps to the process.

Gathering information

Along with the complaint, any evidence of retaliation can assist in the investigation of the case. This includes changes in work conditions that began after the action that sparked the retaliation. Documentation may be pay stubs, timesheets and employee evaluations before and after the action to provide a comparison.

Filing the form

The person reporting the retaliation may download the complaint form, fill it out, print it and mail or deliver it along with all supporting documentation. An online filing option is also available. The filer should provide a current address and phone number.

Assisting with the investigation

The state has a Retaliation Complaint Investigation Unit that will review the complaint and determine whether to launch an investigation. An investigator may want to interview the person who filed the complaint, as well as managers or supervisors within the company and any witnesses.

The investigator may also request more documentation from the filer or the employer. The filer and employer may have to attend a conference or hearing with the investigator.

Accepting a settlement

The employer may decide to offer a settlement before the investigation concludes. The filer has the option to accept the settlement and resolve the complaint, or to refuse the settlement and allow the investigation to continue.

Receiving the determination

The filer will receive a determination in the mail from the Labor Commissioner’s Office. The employer also receives notification of the determination and has 30 days to comply with the required actions, which may include paying lost wages, reinstating the employee, deleting negative evaluations from employee files, ceasing retaliative actions and paying penalties.