It is estimated that the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. Consequently, it is practically inevitable for problems to arise in the workplace. In fact, for most people, it isn’t a question of if, but more of a question of when, and/or how many times this will happen. When problems arise in the workplace, most folks think of complaining to either their superior or some person or department within their company designated to deal with such problems, such as for example human resources.
Can an Employer Retaliate?
Logic dictates that the employee is doing the right thing by notifying his or her employer of a problem in the workplace and providing the employer with the opportunity to take corrective action. Consequently, many employees do not expect to be treated badly by their superiors or their employer as a result of bringing forward legitimate complaints regarding problems in the workplace.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Some employees suffer and end up losing their jobs as a result of bringing forward a complaint. Getting fired for doing what one thinks is the right thing is a tough pill to swallow.
Consequently, many employees pursue legal action. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) more than half of all the charges that it received during fiscal year 2019 were retaliation charges. Indeed, the EEOC reported that a whopping 53.8 percent of all charges were for retaliation. Aside from pursuing statutory claims, many employees also seek to pursue claims for wrongful termination in violation of public policy (which are commonly referred to as “Tameny” claims because such a claim was recognized for the first time by the California Supreme Court in the seminal case of Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Company, (1980) 27 Cal. 3d 167).
What is a Tameny Claim?
A Tameny claim requires, among other things, a showing that the termination of the plaintiff’s employment was a violation of public policy or more accurately, that a “nexus” exists between the termination and the employee’s protected activity. Therefore, not all retaliatory terminations will support a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
Contact Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. for Advice
Whether or not a particular employee’s complaint constitutes “protected activity” for the purpose of bringing a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy depends in large part on the nature of the employee’s protected activities, including specifically, but not limited to, the things that the employee complained about. Over the course of the last 40 years much case law has developed in this field.
When an employee feels that they have been wrongfully terminated from their job in retaliation to some complaint or other action that they took, the best thing for that employee to do is to immediately contact a skilled and experienced wrongful termination attorney and discuss the specifics of the case. It would be extraordinarily difficult for a layman to determine whether or not the facts of this specific situation will support a Tameny claim as a matter of law.
Contact Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. We offer complimentary case evaluation and contingency fee services and are proud of our case results and testimonials. Wrongfully terminated from your job? We will protect your rights.