If I Complain About Sexual Harassment at Work, Will I be Fired?

Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to present a significant problem in workplaces throughout the State of California. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, it is important that you carefully follow all of the policies and procedures outlined in your company’s employee handbook – including reporting the harassment to the proper individual(s) at your company.

Under California state statutes, an employer is not supposed to fire an employee who makes a sexual harassment complaint. If that does happen, you might be able to take legal action against your employer, seeking various remedies.

If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment in California, an experienced attorney will be able to undertake the necessary legal actions against your employer on your behalf.

Forms of Sexual Harassment that Often Occur in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace does not always occur in the same way. In fact, there are several different types of workplace sexual harassment that can occur. For example, an employee could be the victim of unwanted sexual attention or advances at the hands of an employer or coworker. The employee might also be exposed to visual or verbal sexual conduct in the workplace. Finally, the employee could be the victim of a hostile or intimidating work environment in which sex discrimination plays a significant part.

Sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace is not always based upon sexual advances by a coworker or employee and directed towards another worker. In some instances, the harassment might involve comments about a person’s body, sexual orientation, medical condition, or gender identity.

If you feel that you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment, it is very important that you take action right away, in accordance with the employee handbook provided by your employer. You should also seek the advice of an experienced California workplace sexual harassment lawyer about how best to proceed forward with your case.

Employee Rights

When an employee makes a workplace sexual harassment complaint against an employer, he or she should not have to fear retaliation from the employer in the form of termination. In fact, pursuant to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employees have a legal right to report instances of workplace sexual harassment to their employers. Employers must also respond to these allegations after undertaking a thorough and objective evaluation of the situation. They must also take action promptly if it is determined that sexual harassment did, in fact, occur.

Also, under Section 12940(h) of the California Government Code, an employer may not expel, discharge, or discriminate against an employee who files a sexual harassment complaint. If the employer does discriminate against the employee in some way, this is known as unlawful retaliation. In addition to not terminating such an employee, the employer cannot retaliate by giving the complaining employee a bad work evaluation or demoting the employee to a less favorable position. An experienced California workplace sexual harassment attorney can help you explore your options if you are the victim of unlawful termination due to a sexual harassment complaint.