Being informed that you have been demoted at your place of employment can be overwhelming. You likely weren’t expecting to hear this news and want to know what went wrong. However, every demotion might not be legitimate. You might have been demoted as retaliation by your supervisor and not because of your work performance.

One of the easiest ways to tell if you were retaliated against when demoted is if you recently filed a complaint with your human resources department, with a local ethics board or with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers are barred from retaliating against their employees who blow the whistle on unethical or unsafe practices.

Another way to determine if your demotion was retaliation is to ask for your employee reviews from your personnel file. If your recent employee reviews went well, then you should be questioning why you were demoted. If your supervisor cannot provide an explanation or will not show you the reviews, you should be suspicious of the demotion.

Being demoted for no reason can be considered retaliation if you were recently overheard complaining about your job, your supervisor or another aspect of the company. Even though you should keep these opinions to yourself while you’re at work, you still cannot be retaliated against by the company for those opinions.

Workplace retaliation is a serious problem that occurs in various workplaces across California. You need to gather as much evidence as possible to prove a retaliation claim against your employer or a direct supervisor. An experienced attorney can provide you with guidance on how to do this.