Maybe you were minding your own business when a coworker said a sly comment about how you look for the hundredth time. Maybe you happen to pass by the breakroom when you heard a supervisor making sexual suggestions to another coworker. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it pushed you to make a sexual harassment report.
Suddenly, you may find that you won’t be working in your position anymore or you find your salary was cut. These are just a few ways your employer may retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment.
You may be wondering “Is my boss allowed to push me around for reporting harassment?” The short answer is no. There are more questions you may need to ask:
What protections do employees have when reporting harassment?
A harassment report is a “protected activity” that protects an employee from workplace retaliation. You may find an employee is retaliating against you by:
- Cutting your pay without justification
- Verbal or physical aggression of any kind
- Position transfer to a worse location or job
- Presenting a poor performance evaluation
- Overloading you with more work
- Spreading rumors about your sexuality
An employer should have no more response to your report than to take the necessary steps to reduce the harassment.
Why do employers retaliate against harassment reports?
Employers often have to keep up an image that represents their company. A sexual harassment claim could show that the company is not doing everything it can do to create a safe and equal workplace. An employer may fear that a harassment claim will hurt their business.
You may also have reported a coworker that is tied to an employer or business owner higher up the work ladder. Or, a supervisor might see your harassment claim as a threat to their family or friend and attempt to push you out of the workplace.
You shouldn’t come into work the next day fearing you might lose your job for protecting the sanctity of your workplace. If you’ve recently filed a sexual harassment report then you may want to know your options.