What Happens to Employees Who Accuse Their Company of Retaliation for Filing a Sexual Harassment Complaint

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What happens to employees who accuse their company of retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint?” This post is for you. Keep reading to delve into the specific challenges that employees reporting retaliation often face and the legal protections available after filing a sexual harassment complaint, as well as the steps employees can take to address this serious issue.

What Is Sexual Harassment Retaliation?

It is essential to understand what retaliation means in the context of sexual harassment. Retaliation occurs when an employer acts adversely against an employee because the employee engaged in a protected activity. In this case, filing a sexual harassment complaint is considered a protected activity. 

Adverse actions can take various forms, including but not limited to:

  • Termination or demotion—an employee might find themselves suddenly terminated or demoted after reporting sexual harassment;
  • Unfair treatment—this can manifest as assigning unfavorable tasks, reducing responsibilities, or isolating the employee from the team;
  • Negative performance evaluations—employees may receive undeserved negative performance reviews that undermine their career prospects; and
  • Verbal or written threats—some employers use intimidation tactics to discourage reporting harassment.

Accusing an employer of retaliation can be overwhelming, leading to fears of further retaliation and questions about job security.

If you are facing negative repercussions at work that you consider retaliation, sexual harassment attorneys at Starpoint Law, LC, can help. We can review your claim, protect your rights, and assist you in charting the best course of action, standing by you every step of the way.

What Are My Legal Protections Against Sexual Harassment Retaliation?

In cases where employees accuse their company of retaliation after filing a sexual harassment complaint, they may still be eligible for damages, even if the court rules against their harassment claim, provided the complaint was made in good faith. Damages may encompass lost pay, benefits, and emotional distress.

The primary federal law addressing this issue is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for engaging in protected activities, including filing sexual harassment complaints. California state law mirrors these federal protections and even provides additional safeguards.

Employees who believe they have experienced retaliation should:

  • Consult an attorney—experienced legal counsel is invaluable when dealing with retaliation claims, as an employment attorney can help assess your case’s strength, guide you through the process, and represent your interests;
  • Document everything—maintain records of all interactions and incidents related to the retaliation, including emails, memos, and witness statements;
  • File an internal company complaint—many companies have internal processes for reporting and addressing workplace retaliation;
  • Explore alternative dispute resolution—in some cases, mediation or negotiation may resolve the issue without resorting to a lengthy legal battle; and
  • File a complaint with a government agency—if an internal complaint or other methods fail to resolve the issue, employees can file a complaint with a relevant government agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Industrial Relations.

Addressing sexual harassment retaliation fosters an individual employee’s well-being and creates a safer and more inclusive workplace for all employees. Moreover, when an employee’s accusations are substantiated, the outcome can be vindicating. Employees may receive compensation, reinstatement, or other remedies through legal channels while employers suffer well-deserved consequences. A win may also relieve employees’ heightened stress and anxiety, easing its effects on their personal lives, relationships, and overall well-being.

Starpoint Law, LC Will Fight for You

If you reported your employer for retaliation and are wonder, “What happens to employees who accuse their company of retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint?” Starpoint Law, LC can answer your questions and advise you accordingly. We can help you file the proper claim with the appropriate agencies, negotiate with your employer for a just resolution, and represent you in court if necessary.At our firm, our top priority is safeguarding your rights and ensuring you get the compensation and respect you deserve. With over $11 million in client settlements, we take on cases selectively and only when we are confident we can win. This sets us apart from larger firms that may take on more cases than they can handle. Our commitment to our clients is unparalleled. When you partner with us, you can also rest assured that we will keep you informed throughout every stage of the process. We provide free, personalized consultations and can help you overcome even the most challenging workplace obstacles.

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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