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Employment Law / Retalitory Discharge

It is illegal to retaliate against an employee who refuses to act in violation of the regulations or laws which are designed to protect others.

An important part of our commitment to serving our community is protecting the people who try to follow the law and do the right thing as an employee. The Law Offices of Joseph M. Earley focuses on protecting the rights of employees who are discriminated against for protecting the rights of others.

Our areas of practice in employment law include:

  • Wrongful Terminations
  • Work Place Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Whistle Blower Complaints

Mr. Earley works in association with a network of specialized attorneys who are also committed to helping injured and otherwise mistreated individuals.  Although the primary focus of the Law Offices of Joseph Earley is related to employees of nursing homes and other care facilities, other fields of employment are considered as well.

If you believe you have been (or are about to be) wrongfully terminated from your employment or retaliated against for reporting or refusing to engage in illegal conduct or unsafe conditions, we invite you to call our office to discuss your matter.

What is an unlawful termination?

It is important to recognize that California is an "at will" employment state.  That means that an employer may fire an employee for any reason - or for no reason at all - as long as it is not an unlawful reason.  An unlawful reason includes, but is not limited to, being fired:

  • where the employer's motivating factor is your race, gender, ethnic origin, pregnancy, disability, or medical condition.
  • for reporting or protesting discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
  • for reporting, protesting or refusing to engage in illegal conduct.
  • for reporting or protesting an unsafe or unhealthful working condition, or for reporting or protesting a violation of law.

In the care facility context, it is far too common for an employer to retaliate against nursing or other care staff for complaing about (or even documenting) substandard resident care.  This includes complaining about understaffing of the facility, particularly when the resident acuity is high.  Nursing staff simply cannot adequately provide for all the residents' needs when there are not sufficient staff.  Nursing staff should complain about such conditions because the residents are necessarily being neglected.  Unfortunately, facilities too often prefer to retaliate against employees who make such complaints rather than to address the real problem.

What is Retaliation?

If an employee complains to his or her employer or a government agency that he or she, in good faith, believes that the company is violating a law, statue or regulation which exists for the benefit of the public, and the employer fires that employee because of the complaint, an employee has a valid claim for wrongful termination.  California provides provides very effective statutory protections to such employees.  It is usually not difficult to prove when a company fabricates reasons for termination when in fact the firing was retaliatory.

If you believe you are have been (or are being) retaliated against because you complained to your employer that the company or its managers, supervisors or employees are violating a law, statue or regulation which exists for the benefit of the public, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.