Nothing is worse than being harassed, either sexually or otherwise. Unfortunately, many employees face sexual harassment from their employers or co-workers on a daily basis. This is unacceptable. If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment, you may wonder if you will get fired or otherwise punished for reporting the harassment. On the other hand, if you already reported harassment and were punished in some way for doing so, you may wonder what your rights are and whether you have a path to legal recourse. Please continue reading and reach out to our seasoned Chesterfield County sexual harassment attorney from Passero Employment Law to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Can I get fired or otherwise punished for reporting sexual harassment?
Though Virginia is an employment-at-will state, meaning employers can hire or fire employees for any reason (or no reason at all), employers are still prohibited from firing employees due to protected characteristics or reporting incidents of discrimination.
Technically, sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination, and if you report this harassment, your employer is legally prohibited from retaliating against you. If you are fired, demoted, laid off, or otherwise punished for reporting an incident of harassment, you may have a valid claim against your employer.
What should I do if I was retaliated against for reporting harassment?
If you were retaliated against for reporting harassment, you should do what you can to document both the harassment itself and the response to your reporting the harassment. You should also report the incident to your company’s HR department (if you have one). Finally, you should hire a competent employment lawyer who can help you gather and present all other information needed to prove your claim.
If you have a valid claim, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you’ve incurred as a result of the harassment and/or retaliation. Some of those damages can include lost pay, and pain and suffering.
The bottom line is that if you believe you’re a victim of sexual harassment and/or retaliation for reporting harassment, you need a seasoned attorney in your corner who can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact Passero Employment Law today to schedule your initial consultation with our dedicated legal team.