Reporting workplace sexual harassment is protected by the law. This means that employees should be free to report sexual harassment without fear of punishment. However, this is not always the reality.
Although employers should be aware that reporting sex harassment is a protected activity for which an employee cannot be penalized, some employers still take unfavorable employment actions against employees who report harassment. Employees could find themselves disciplined for reporting work sexual harassment.
What is Retaliation?
An adverse employment action, which basically means any negative treatment towards an employee relating to employment and directly stemming from the employee’s protected activity, is called retaliation. Retaliation can take a variety of forms. The most obvious example is termination, but there are other, more subtle, forms of retaliation that can appear to be merely discipline at first. Demotion, unfair treatment, harassment, reduced pay or benefits, or unfavorable work assignments or terms of employment, are all examples of retaliation.
Employers cannot treat an employee negatively as a direct result of reporting harassment, therefore retaliation in any form could be considered illegal. In plain language, an employer cannot discipline you as retaliation for reporting workplace harassment because the law protects employees who bring information about harassment forward.
If you believe that your employer may have retaliated against you for reporting workplace harassment, you should seek legal advice. Experiencing and reporting harassment is difficult on its own, and your employer should not be retaliating against you for engaging in activity that is protected by the law.
Need The Help Of An Experienced Employment Law Attorney?
Sexual harassment is a serious issue in the workplace and if you are considering filing with the FEHA and EEOC, our attorneys are here to help you in every step of the way. If you believe you are facing a hostile work environment caused by sexual harassment by a boss who may have an unwanted relationship with you, please contact our dedicated and experienced discrimination attorneys at Makarem & Associates at 310.312.0299 or email us at [email protected].