When the #MeToo movement swept through the United States in 2017, many people were surprised how rampant a problem sexual harassment still was in the workplace. Unfortunately, you may know about workplace sexual harassment problems firsthand. Maybe your manager has made sexual advances toward you or a co-worker repeatedly makes lewd comments and jokes about you even though you have asked him to stop.
You haven’t reported this sexual harassment to human resources or your boss’ supervisor though. You are afraid because you love your job. You don’t want to lose it because of making a harassment complaint. Yet, can you really get fired for reporting sexual harassment?
Understanding retaliation after making a harassment complaint
Federal law prohibits employers for retaliating against employees who report sexual harassment. Retaliation includes taking the following actions after an employee reports harassment or discrimination:
- Firing the employee
- Reprimanding the employee
- Making the employee’s work more difficult
- Giving the employee an unwarranted unfavorable performance review
- Transferring the employee to a less desirable position
- Verbally abusing or physically abusing the employee
- Threatening to report the employee to immigration officials
Getting help after experiencing retaliation
If you face retaliation after making a sexual harassment complaint at work, you need to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you file a lawsuit against your employer for firing you or using other retaliation tactics. You may even be able to return to your job or you could receive compensation for future income, benefits and more.
You shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for your rights when facing sexual harassment at work. Nor should you let your employer retaliate against you for reporting illegal harassment. You can take steps to protect yourself, your job and your income with an attorney’s help.