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Can you be fired for reporting sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2021 | Employment Law |

One of the main reasons that employees note for failing to report sexual harassment is that they were afraid they would lose their jobs. They wanted the harassment to stop, of course, but they were not willing to risk a paycheck or a career.

For instance, say that your immediate supervisor is interested in you and constantly pesters you for dates, makes comments about your appearance or asks you questions about your sexual habits and relationships. You know you’re being harassed, but you work directly for that supervisor. If you tell your employer or report it to HR, and they talk to you supervisor, is that person simply going to fire you and hire someone else who will put up with the abuse?

You should report it, and retaliatory firings are illegal

First of all, you should report what’s happening. It’s a key step in the process. In fact, one of the main things that the California Department of Justice recommends is reporting any of this behavior to your employer. Do not stay silent or keep it to yourself.

Firings in retaliation for these types of reports are illegal. You do not have to worry about losing your job. Your employer would be breaking the law to fire you simply for making that report and trying to get the harassment to stop.

Naturally, though, your supervisor already showed that they’re willing to break the law. They may still fire you, no matter what the law says. In that case, you do have legal options to seek compensation for things like lost wages, lost earning potential and much more. You may be able to get your job back, or you may get compensation for what you’ve lost while you find a better job. So, even if your employer violates the law further, it could all work out in your favor in the end.

What legal steps should you take?

If you get fired or if you need to take legal action to put an end to the harassment, it’s important to know what options you have and what steps to take. Working with an experienced law firm can help you during these challenging times.