When is retaliation in the workplace illegal?

I know it is illegal for a boss to retaliate against an employee who voices a complaint about the boss’s discrimination or harassment action. However, is it also illegal for the boss to retaliate if the employee makes a valid non-harassment complaint to HR? For example, a complaint about the boss never being

available, delegating all tasks, not doing his assigned job?

Asked on July 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, that is not illegal: your boss may retaliate against you for *any* complaint you make, whether you deem it "valid" or not, except for those complaints (e.g. about discrimination) specifically protected by law. You have no legal protection for your job or treatement thereat, only the specific protections provided by certain laws, chief of which is the anti-discrimination law. There is no protection for other complaints about your boss.

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