If I Made a Complaint to HR, Can My Employer Reduce My Pay?

Employers are not allowed to retaliate simply because you have made a complaint which states that you believe that your rights have been violated in some way. If you have complained about your manager, and believe that your employer has retaliated against you and reduced your pay because you made a complaint to Human Resources (HR), you may have the legal grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to help you get the legal representation you need to take legal actions against your employer successfully.

Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for doing anything that classifies as protected activity. Such protected activity includes filing a complaint against your employer because you feel that your rights have been violated in some way or another, even if the courts deem that your complaint does not suffice to prove that your employer violated your rights. Your employer is not allowed to take adverse action against employees for making such complaints against them. Even if the retaliation has no malice intent, the employee may interpret it as retaliation and so, too, the courts. Retaliation includes such things termination, demotion, giving them a negative evaluation, reassigning them to new a lower position, or reducing their pay.

The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to help make that that justice gets served if your employer violated the law. We are your Los Angeles employment attorneys who will pursue the maximum amount of compensation available to you. We help people who have been retaliated against by their employer simply for doing something that was within their right like filing a complaint against HR or an employment government agency. We receive many questions about rights and any legal action. Examples of such questions include:

  • Can I sue my employer if my pay was reduced because I made an HR complaint?
  • My boss reduced my hours because I made a complaint with Human Resources. Can he legally do that? Can I hire a lawyer to sue him?
  • Can I file a discrimination claim if my pay was cut because I made an HR complaint?
  • My employer promised me a bonus and commissions. But after I made a complaint with HR, he is refusing to give me my bonus. Can I sue the company?
  • Can I sue my boss if he reduced my hours or salary because of an HR complaint that I made?
  • Can I file a lawsuit against my employer if he forced me to go on furlough due to an HR complaint?
  • Can my boss legally lower my salary because I made an HR complaint?

Here is what you need to know if you complained to your manager and your employer retaliated against you because you filed a complaint against them to Human Resources.

What Is Retaliation?


Retaliation in the workplaces occurs when the employer takes adverse action against an employee because he or she filed a complaint against the employer for discrimination or harassment. The adverse action includes acts like firing the employee who made filed the claim, moving them to a new position, evaluating them in a negative light to take further action in the future, or reducing their pay to teach them a lesson.

It is unlawful for employers to take such retaliation against their employees. Protection against retaliation doesn’t only apply to the employee who filed the complaint against the employer, it also includes anyone who participates in the investigation that results from the complaint to HR. This means that employees who are interviewed by HR and give whatever information they have against the employer cannot be retaliated against by the employer just because they participated in the investigation.

The legitimacy of the complaint matters not in terms of retaliation. Even if your complaint is deemed to have insufficient evidence, the employer will still be held accountable if they take action against you, the employee.

What Laws Protect Against Retaliation?


There are many federal laws which prohibit employers from retaliating against their employees for filing a lawsuit against them. Laws which include the following Acts: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Fair Labor Standard Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the National Labor Relation Act. These all have provisions which make it illegal for the employer to retaliate against the employees who file complaints. Which are, in turn, enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the employment government agency which ensures that employers stick to the law and takes action against them if they disregard the federal laws put in place to protect employees.

How Do I Know If I’ve Been Retaliated Against?


Many employers are aware of the retaliation laws that exist, so it can be difficult to tell whether they have retaliated against you for filing your complaint. For example, if their attitude or demeanor make them less friendly and more professional around you, that behavior does not count as retaliation. Only those changes which have consequences towards your employment are considered retaliatory.

If the action is something that clearly negatively affects you shortly after you make a complaint to HR – like, e.g., you get fired, demoted, or your salary gets reduced – you have a good reason to be suspicious, and courts will not have a hard time connecting the dots. Still, you will need to collect evidence, and a competent team of employment lawyers can help you do exactly that! Employers may be tricky about how they retaliate which may make it difficult to collect and find evidence on your own. It is important that you document the retaliatory behavior, keep track of historical information (like your performance reviews and evaluations prior to making your complaint), and any other behavior which makes you believe that your employer retaliated against your for making a complaint with HR.

If you believe that your employer retaliated against you for filing a complaint with Human Resources, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to ensure that you get the maximum amount of damages to which you are rightfully entitled. We offer free consultation and the zero-fee guarantee, so that means there’s no financial obligation or financial risk on your part! Give us a call today.

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