Sexual harassment is far too common in workplaces throughout California and the United States. To address and decrease this serious problem, more employees need to feel comfortable coming forward to report what they observe and experience. Suppose an employee is worried about losing their job or other potential negative repercussions of reporting sexual harassment. In that case, they may not make the report, perpetuating workplace sexual harassment. While it is an employee’s choice whether to come forward or not, those who want to need to feel safe and protected.
Both California and federal laws provide many workplace protections to California employees. Some of these protections are against discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. Employees not only have the right to report workplace sexual harassment but also they can’t be fired or otherwise face retaliatory actions for reporting the harassment. If they do, they should contact a workplace sexual harassment attorney right away for help.
Can You Be Fired for Reporting Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Unfortunately, employers can fire employees for any reason, and the real reason may never be known to the fired employee. While nothing is stopping your employer from firing you for reporting sexual harassment, they can face several consequences if you can prove that your reporting was the reason you were let go. Even if the behavior you report turns out not to fit the legal definition of sexual harassment, it’s still illegal for an employer to terminate someone on the basis of reporting sexual harassment.
Of course, employers won’t tell you that you were terminated for reporting sexual harassment. The tricky part in these cases is linking your termination to the fact that you reported sexual harassment. It takes the help of a skilled workplace sexual harassment attorney to accomplish this task and get you the compensation you deserve.
For example, you can receive damages for:
- previously lost wages
- future lost earnings
- hiring or reinstatement of employment
- out-of-pocket expenses
- policy changes
- reasonable accommodation
- emotional distress
- punitive damages
- attorney’s fees and costs
Other Forms of Illegal Retaliation
Not only is it illegal for an employer to fire you for reporting workplace sexual harassment, but it’s also illegal for them to retaliate in other ways, such as:
- reduced compensation
- loss of some benefits
- denied flex time
- denied promotion
- threats to report your immigration status to Homeland Security or ICE
- reassignment or a transfer with significantly different responsibilities
- poor job references or evaluations
- spreading of false rumors about you
If you weren’t fired but faced one or more of these retaliatory acts, you have legal rights. It’s best to pursue your legal rights with the help of an experienced attorney. You can be entitled to many of the same damages as if you were fired for reporting sexual harassment.
Stand Up for Your Rights After Reporting Workplace Sexual Harassment
It’s your right to report workplace sexual harassment. You can even hire an attorney who can help you make a report. It’s also your right to keep your job after doing so and not be subjected to any form of retaliation. If you feel your employer took such actions against you, stand up for your legal rights. Take the first step by contacting a skilled lawyer today for help.