Punished for Reporting Sexual Harassment: What Every Employee Should Know

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There was a 50% increase in the number of sexual harassment claims brought in 2018, when compared to the prior year. This is according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for investigating and often enforcing complaints against employers. With this remarkable increase in the number of people coming forward to make complaints, many people may wonder if they can be terminated or suffer adverse employment actions because of their cooperation or for reporting harassment. The short answer is no, but there is much more to understand before speaking up.

To talk to an employment discrimination lawyer at Five Points Law Group today. We can help you investigate and build a strong case against an employer that is violating your rights.

What Happens if You Report Sexual Harassment?

If you have a potential claim for discrimination based on sex, you have just 180 days to bring your claim before the EEOC. This is a very short period of time for you and your attorney to investigate and build a case. Therefore, as soon as you experience discrimination, you need to contact an attorney for advice.

Once you report harassment, it will trigger an investigation. This does mean that your employer will find out. If you are merely making a report on someone else’s behalf, you may worry that you could suffer retaliation. The good news is that the law protects both claimants and witnesses who cooperate in an investigation.

Rules Against Retaliation

What is retaliation? Under EEOC guidelines, prohibited adverse actions can include:

  • Taking any negative employment action
  • Firing an employee
  • Reduction in pay
  • Refusal to transfer
  • Refusing regular pay increases
  • Limiting job assignments
  • Overly scrutinizing employee conduct
  • Issuing warnings and demerits
  • Withholding benefits or pensions

Options if You Have Been Retaliated Against

If you are experiencing retaliation or believe your employer is making up excuses to punish you after you reported harassment or discrimination, or after you cooperated in a criminal or civil investigation, then you may have a right to be compensated. These options may include additional state or federal whistleblower laws that protect employees who call out illegal corporate conduct.

Here are some quick steps to protect your rights if you are suffering from retaliation:

  • Read the Company’s Sexual Harassment Reporting Policy and follow its instructions
  • Even if the policy says you may contact H.R. or a supervisor, make sure you submit your complaint in writing
  • Bring your concern to a supervisor or human resources department
  • Give the supervisor an opportunity to take action
  • If the supervisor is the problem, direct your complaint to his or her supervisor
  • If the problem is not addressed or you are further punished, contact an attorney

How Five Points Law Group can Help

At Five Points Law Group, our attorneys have many years of experience carefully reviewing cases of sexual harassment and discrimination. We can often help protect employees from retaliation and build a strong case against the employer if they continue the illegal conduct. But it is imperative you contact us early. The sooner we are involved, the better chance we have of helping you seek compensation. Remember that time is limited for pursuing justice, so do not delay. Call Five Points Law Group today.

Allen Arnold
Allen Arnold
Allen has practiced in the field of employment litigation, almost exclusively representing employees, for his entire career.

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