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Laws that Prohibit Retaliation and Discrimination

Published by the Dept of Industrial Relations


The following is a list of laws enforced by the Labor Commissioner that specifically prohibit discrimination and retaliation against employees and job applicants.

Complaints must be filed within one year of the retaliatory act, unless stated otherwise.

Important: Effective September 30, 2021, Executive Order N-08-21, Section 24(f) ends the temporary suspension of deadlines to file complaints with the Labor Commissioner due to the COVID-19 pandemic and such deadlines will once again be in effect in their entirety.

Labor Code section 96(k)

Provides the Labor Commissioner with authority to be assigned claims for loss of wages that arise from retaliation for lawful conduct occurring during nonworking hours and away from the employer’s premises.

Labor Code section 98.6

Protects an employee filing or threatening to file a claim or complaint with the Labor Commissioner, instituting or causing to be instituted any proceeding relating to rights under the jurisdiction of the Labor Commissioner, or testifying in any such proceeding, complaining orally or in writing about unpaid wages, or for exercising (on behalf of oneself or other employees) any of the rights provided under the Labor Code or Orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission, including, but not limited to, the right to demand payment of wages due, the right to express opinions about, support or oppose an alternative workweek election, or the exercise of any other right protected by the Labor Code. In addition to other remedies that might be available, a civil penalty of up to $10,000 may be awarded to an employee for each violation.

Labor Code section 230(a)

Labor Code section 230(a) prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for taking time off to serve on a jury, provided that the employee has given the employer reasonable notice.

Labor Code section 230(b)

Labor Code section 230(b) prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who is a victim of a crime for taking time off to appear in court to comply with a subpoena or court order as a witness in a judicial proceeding.

Labor Code section 230(c)

Labor Code section 230(c) prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking, who is a victim of a crime that caused physical injury or that caused mental injury and a threat of physical injury, or who is a person whose immediate family member is deceased as the direct result of a crime (regardless of whether there is an arrest, prosecution, or conviction for committing the crime), for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain relief to help ensure his or her health, safety, or welfare, or that of his or her child or children.

Labor Code section 230(e)

Labor Code section 230(e) prohibits an employer from discharging or retaliating against an employee because of his or her status as a victim of crime or abuse, provided that the victim provides notice to employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status.

Labor Code section 230(f)

An employer shall provide reasonable accommodations for a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking, a victim of a crime that caused physical injury or that caused mental injury and a threat of physical injury, or a person whose immediate family member is deceased as the direct result of a crime (regardless of whether there is an arrest, prosecution, or conviction for committing the crime), who requests an accommodation for the victim’s safety while at work. Reasonable accommodations may also include assistance in documenting domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or “other crime” that occurs at work, or another work adjustment in response to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or “other crime.” The employer shall engage in a timely, good faith, and reasonable process with the employee to determine effective reasonable accommodations

Labor Code section 230.1

An employer with 25 or more employees is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking, who is a victim of a crime that caused physical injury or that caused mental injury and a threat of physical injury, or who is a person whose immediate family member is deceased as a direct result of a crime (regardless of whether there is an arrest, prosecution, or conviction for committing the crime), and who takes time off to seek medical attention, to obtain services from a domestic violence program or psychological counseling, or to participate in safety planning. The worker must provide reasonable advance notice if feasible.

Labor Code section 230.2(b)

An employee who is a vi