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Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful for an employer to demote, suspend, terminate or harass any employee because that employee has engaged in protected activities. Such protected activities include protesting, complaining about, resisting or otherwise “opposing” discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, sex, disability, national origin, age, or religion. Retaliation by the employer is prohibited whether the employee is opposing harassment or discrimination directed against themselves or another employee. Moreover, the protection from retaliation is the same whether it turns out that the original harassment or discrimination complaint was valid or not! An employer may not take any adverse employment action against an employee that complains about or otherwise opposes discrimination or harassment so long as the employee had a reasonable belief that what he/she was complaining about was unlawful harassment or discrimination.

It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for refusing to violate any law, for reporting the employer for violating any law, or for protesting conduct by the employer that is the subject of any state or federal statute, regulation, or constitutional provision. See also, Wrongful Termination.

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