Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA
Short answer: The average retaliation lawsuit settlement in California typically ranges from $20,000 to $40,000. However, it is important to note that retaliation settlement amounts can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of each case, with some settlements being significantly higher or lower.
Workplace retaliation in California, refers to adverse actions taken by an employer against an employee as a response to the employee’s engagement in legally protected activities, such as filing a complaint about workplace violations or reporting unlawful behavior.
It is crucial to understand that workplace retaliation is unlawful and violates the employee’s rights protected under state and federal laws.
Workplace retaliation settlements and claims have emerged as a prominent issue and are among the most prevalent harassment charges reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) every year.
In fact, an alarming 49% of all EEOC filings pertain to workplace retaliation. Employees who believe they have experienced retaliation have the right to seek legal recourse and pursue fair compensation for the harm they endured.
|Category||Average Settlement Amount|
|Low||Approximately: $5,000 – $20,000|
|Moderate||Approximately: $20,000 – $50,000|
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Ani Chopourian, a 45-year-old former cardiac surgery physician assistant, won a $168 million judgment in a harassment suit against Mercy General Hospital, a Sacramento hospital. Chopourian alleged that she faced sexually inappropriate conduct, bullying, and retaliation during her two-year employment at the hospital. Surgeons and medical staff subjected her to various forms of harassment, including verbal sexual harassment and derogatory remarks about her heritage. The jury awarded her $125 million in punitive damages, $39 million for mental anguish, and $3.5 million for lost wages and benefits. The verdict is believed to be among the largest retaliation settlements for a single employee in U.S. history, sending a powerful message against workplace harassment and retaliation.
A compelling retaliation case relies on strong and concrete evidence that establishes a clear link between the adverse employment action and the protected activity. This evidence can take various forms, such as emails, memos, witness statements, or performance evaluations, which demonstrate a discernible negative shift in the plaintiff’s treatment after engaging in the protected activity. Crucially, a well-documented timeline plays a vital role in establishing the causation between the adverse action and the protected activity. The closer in time the adverse action occurs to the protected activity, the stronger the case for retaliation becomes.
A successful retaliation case requires the support of a skilled attorney experienced in employment law. A skilled attorney proficient in labor laws can construct a compelling argument based on the presented evidence. They know how to navigate potential legal obstacles, conduct thorough investigations, and effectively advocate for the plaintiff’s rights.
Retaliation lawsuit payouts typically cover the agreed-upon amount that resolves a legal dispute or claim between two parties. When the parties reach a settlement, they agree to forego further legal action in exchange for a specific sum of money. The settlement check is issued by the party responsible for payment and is generally intended to compensate the recipient for damages, losses, or injuries mentioned in the settlement agreement.
The scope of a settlement check can vary widely depending on the nature of the case. For personal injury case settlements, the check may cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs. For retaliation case settlements, the check may include back pay, future wages, compensation for emotional distress, and attorney fees. For contractual disputes, the settlement check might cover financial damages resulting from the breach of contract.
The settlement check represents the final resolution of the dispute, and upon receipt and clearance, the recipient generally agrees not to pursue any further legal action related to the specific matter covered by the settlement.
The three elements of a retaliation claim are:
In addition to the three elements required to prove a retaliation claim, plaintiffs in California must also present:
Filing a claim for retaliation in California can be relatively straightforward in terms of the initial steps. Employees who believe they have experienced retaliation can file a complaint with the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). These agencies handle discrimination and retaliation claims in California.
The process generally involves filling out a complaint form, providing relevant details about the retaliation incident, and submitting it to the appropriate agency. Additionally, some employees may choose to consult with an employment attorney to ensure they understand their rights and have all the necessary documentation.
While the initial filing may be simple, proving a retaliation claim and navigating the legal process can be more challenging. To build a strong case, employees need to provide evidence linking the adverse action to the protected activity and demonstrate that retaliation occurred. This may involve gathering witnesses, documents, and other evidence to support the claim.
To file a workplace retaliation claim in California, follow these steps:
The process of filing a workplace retaliation claim can be complex and the specific steps may vary depending on your unique situation. Seeking legal advice and assistance can help ensure that your rights are protected and increase your chances of a successful resolution.
Yes, it can be worth suing in certain situations when you have a strong case and believe that you have been wronged. Suing may be worth it to seek justice, hold the responsible party accountable, and obtain compensation for damages, lost wages, or emotional distress caused by workplace retaliation. Additionally, a successful lawsuit can help prevent future retaliation against you and others.
Before deciding to file a lawsuit, we highly recommend weighing the potential costs, time, and emotional toll of litigation. Consulting with an experienced employment attorney can help you assess the merits of your case and make an informed decision about pursuing legal action against your employer.
Retaliation claims are not rare in California. They are relatively common, as employees in California are protected by strong labor laws that prohibit retaliation for engaging in protected activities such as reporting workplace violations, discrimination, harassment, or participating in legal proceedings.
The burden of proof for retaliation in California requires the plaintiff (the employee making the claim) to show by a preponderance of evidence that they engaged in protected activity, experienced adverse employment action, and that there exists a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse action.
If you have any questions regarding a workplace retaliation case in California, LawLinq can help. As your trusted lawyer referral service, we connect individuals in California with top-notch attorneys in various fields, including Employment law, at no cost.
Our member attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if they win your case or secure compensation. Please note that our services are exclusively available to clients in California. For reliable and exceptional legal support, call us at (855) 997-2558 or visit our site today.