Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace can be a frightening and overwhelming ordeal. It is important to know that reporting this behavior is not only necessary, but it is also protected by law. An employee cannot be fired simply for reporting sexual harassment, and employers are not allowed to take adverse employment actions against an employee who has reported such behavior.
What is Adverse Action?
The law protects those who have experienced or reported sexual harassment in the workplace. It applies to employees who report harassing behavior as well as victims of the harassment. The law prohibits employers from retaliating against either party by taking any adverse actions.
“Adverse action” is defined as any action taken by an employer that negatively impacts an employee’s job status. This can include demoting them, decreasing their pay, creating a hostile work environment, reducing their hours, or retaliating against them. An employee who reports sexual harassment should not have to worry about facing any kind of adverse action from their employer. If they do face any form of retaliation from their employer for reporting sexual harassment, then they may be able to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces civil rights laws and investigates allegations of discrimination in the workplace. If you have reported sexual harassment at work, your employer must investigate your claim. The EEOC will check up on them to ensure a full investigation occurred, and they will ensure you do not receive any adverse action. If you do, your employer could be subject to sanctions, including reinstating you in your job if you have been terminated.
What If I Was Fired?
If you have been fired for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. Besides reporting the issue to the EEOC and speaking with an experienced employment lawyer, document everything. It is important that you document every instance of what has happened since you reported the workplace sexual harassment incident. This includes any emails or conversations between you and your employer regarding the matter, as well as any other evidence that may help support your case. Having documentation of all events is crucial when making a legal claim against an employer for wrongful termination due to reporting sexual harassment.
It is also worth noting that you do not have to be the recipient of workplace sexual harassment to report it to your employer or the EEOC. If you witness sexual harassment in the workplace, you should speak out. Filing a sexual harassment claim with your company’s HR department will help make your workplace safer for everyone.
The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights as an Employee
It is against the law for your employer to terminate you for reporting sexual harassment. If you have lost your job after reporting sexual harassment in your workplace, discuss your legal options with the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or fill out our online form. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.