California Employment Law Blog

Labor Code Update: Expanded Workplace Retaliation Law

Posted by Timothy B. Del Castillo | Oct 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

Man holding mug with California Flag on mug

Retaliation claims have long been a part of California employment law, but as of January 1, 2018, a new law expanding existing protections against unlawful retaliation will go into effect.  Earlier this week, Governor Brown signed a bill amending Labor Code section 98.7 and expanding existing employee protections against unlawful retaliation.  

The new law will allow the Labor Commissioner to issue a citation to an employer accused of unlawful retaliation directly, effectively ordering the employer to cease the actions that the Labor Commission deems retaliatory.  Under the new version of the law, the employer has the burden file a writ of mandate with the superior court if it disagrees with the Labor Commissioner's determination.  

Also, under the new version of section 98.7 injunctive relief can be granted if the employee shows that there is “reasonable cause” to show that an employee was retaliated against.  This is a lower standard than typically applies to requests for injunctive relief. 

The new law also permits the Labor Commissioner to investigate retaliation even without a complaint from an employee.  It seems unlikely that the Labor Commissioner would dedicate resources to investigate employers for retaliation without an employee complaint, but perhaps the Labor Commission's office will use this new provision to expand its investigation into employers accused by employees of other Labor Code violations.

In short, the amendments to Labor Code 98.7 are sure to make defending against claims of retaliation more of a burden for employers.

About the Author

Timothy B. Del Castillo

Tim practices employment law in California and represents both employees and employers in federal and state courts, administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations, and in direct negotiations. Tim also offers advice and counsel and training to businesses to help them achieve compliance with California employment laws.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Castle Law’s goal is to become your trusted advisor and to provide real value for all of your employment law needs. To become our client’s trusted advisors, we aim to provide quality representation and sound advice time and again.


There is no charge for the initial phone consultation. Fill out the contact form on the website with detailed information about your circumstances and we will schedule a telephone appointment.

Copyright © 2020 Castle Law: California Employment Counsel

Attorney Timothy B. Del Castillo is responsible for the content on this website, which may contain an advertisement. The information on this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and no attorney-client relationship is formed until conflicts have been cleared and both parties have signed a written fee agreement. Please do not send any confidential information through the website. The materials and information on this website are for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES. Any testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.