Employer Retaliation Against Employees Who Report Sexual Harassment
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, national religion, race, color, national origin, and religion. In addition to this important piece of federal legislation, many other federal and state laws prohibit employer discrimination against employees. Employees who experience sexual harassment or any other type of workplace discrimination have the right to report the harassment. Employers are legally obligated to take steps to stop sexual harassment and prevent future harassment. Unfortunately, some employers attempt to retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination that involves sex-based remarks or behavior or the trading of sexual contact for work-related benefits. When an employee is a victim of sexual harassment, he or she may feel humiliated, offended, and demeaned. He or she may find it nearly impossible to do his or her job properly under these stressful conditions. No one should have to suffer through this experience.
Employees who are harassed are encouraged to report the harassment to the individual specified by the company’s sexual harassment policy—typically a supervisor or human resources employee. The company then has an obligation to address the harassment and take steps to prevent the employee from further harassment. Unfortunately, some employers do not adequately address employee sexual harassment and some even retaliate against employees who report harassment.
Retaliation Is Against the Law
Employer retaliation occurs when an employer attempts to “punish” an employee for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination. Actions that may be considered employee retaliation include but are not limited to:
- Reducing the employee’s work hours or giving the employee an undesirable work shift
- Giving the employee a fraudulently negative performance review
- Verbally or physically abusing the employee
- Threatening to report the employee or his or her loved ones to authorities such as immigration authorities
- Firing or demoting the employee
Employer retaliation is illegal. If you have been retaliated against by your employer after you reported unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment, contact a lawyer right away to learn about your options for taking action.
Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you have been the target of retaliation after reporting sexual harassment, filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Illinois Department of Human Rights, or participating in a sexual harassment investigation, contact an experienced Illinois sexual harassment attorney right away. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.