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Can My Employer Fire Me for Making a Sexual Harassment Claim?

Posted on in Workplace Sexual Harassment

Pittsburgh sexual harassment attorneyReporting a co-worker or supervisor for sexual harassment can be an intimidating endeavor. This is one reason that thousands of incidents of sexual harassment sadly go unreported and unaddressed. Many victims of sexual harassment worry that speaking out against inappropriate sexual harassment in the workplace will get them fired or ostracized at work. Unfortunately, employers do sometimes “punish” employees who make sexual harassment allegations, but the good news is that there are laws to protect victims in this circumstance.

The Responsibility of Employers to Their Employees

Anyone who owns a business or otherwise employs other people has several duties to their employees. One of these duties is to address and investigate any claims of sexual harassment made my subordinates. If a company receives a report of sexual harassment claim and does not take steps to stop the harassing behavior, they can be held liable. If you were sexually harassed at work and your claim of sexual harassment was swept under the rug, your employer could face serious consequences. They may be required to reimburse you for lost wages and even the costs related to your new job search.

Wrongful Termination and Retaliation for Sexual Harassment Claims

An employer cannot penalize an employee for coming forward about sexual harassment. If you have reported sexual harassment at your job and were subsequently fired, you may have a valid wrongful termination case. Employer retaliation against employees who report sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is important to understand that retaliation does not only refer to termination. Demotion, unsupported negative performance reviews, denying vacation or time off, cutting hours, and wage reduction can also be considered retaliation.

You Can Sue Your Employer for Retaliation

Employer retaliation is unfortunately quite common. In 2015, nearly 40,000 charges of employer retaliation against employees were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is tasked with enforcing federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination and retaliation. If you brought up concerns about sexual harassment at your job and you are being punished as a result, you may be able to sue your employer. The first step is to file a complaint with the EEOC. This must be accomplished before an individual is legally allowed to file a retaliation lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help you with this step of the process as well as provide guidance throughout your retaliation claim or wrongful termination suit.

Do Not Face Your Employer Alone

If you have been retaliated against after making a sexual harassment claim at work, contact an experienced Pittsburgh sexual harassment lawyer immediately. Call 412-943-0007 to schedule your cost-free initial consultation with Colianni & Colianni, LLC today.

 

Sources:

https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/legal-resources/know-your-rights-at-work/title-vii/

https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm

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