Workplace retaliation claims are on the rise in California, signaling a growing concern for employee rights and workplace fairness. Retaliation occurs when employers take adverse actions against employees for engaging in protected activities.
Understanding the factors contributing to the increase in retaliation claims helps employers and employees promote a more positive, inclusive work environment.
Why retaliation claims are rising
Per CalMatters, state workers filed 50% more workplace retaliation claims in 2022 than in 2019. Several factors contribute to the increase. Heightened awareness of employee rights and protections is one of them. Increased scrutiny of employer practices is another. Changes in laws governing workplace rights and protections may also provide employees with greater legal avenues for addressing retaliation.
How this impacts employers, employees
Workplace retaliation can have major consequences for both employees and employers. For employees, retaliation can result in adverse employment actions, such as demotions or termination. Either action can lead to financial hardship and emotional distress. Retaliation can also undermine trust and morale in the workplace. This, in turn, can create a hostile or toxic work environment. For employers, retaliation claims can lead to legal liabilities. They can also cause reputational damage and harm employee morale and productivity.
How to promote a more positive workplace culture
To address rising workplace retaliation claims, employers must prioritize creating a positive workplace culture. Employers should implement clear policies for reporting discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Employers should also provide regular training to managers and employees on workplace rights and responsibilities and the consequences of retaliation.
By fostering trust, respect and fairness, employers can lower the risk of retaliation claims and uphold their commitment to providing a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees.