The recent cultural shift against sexual misconduct across different industries has seen a rise in sexual harassment claims against employers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reported a 13.6% increase in sexual harassment charges over the past year. However, despite these growing numbers, more victims put their employment at risk just for speaking up.
Employers can exhibit unfavorable behavior in response to sexual harassment charges against certain individuals at work against victims for making complaints, participating in a related investigation or case, or going against sexual harassment. These negative actions are considered as sexual harassment retaliation.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment Retaliation?
Sexual harassment retaliation can have different forms. You might experience this type of retaliation if your employer has done or has been doing the following:
- Demotes you from your current job or position or gives you fewer responsibilities at work
- Terminates you from your current job or position
- Reassigns you to another department
- Excludes you from work-related activities such as employee training
- Denies you a raise or a promotion
- Gives you unreasonable evaluations on your performance
Sexual harassment retaliation can also include your employer’s threats to punish you for opposing inappropriate advances on employees.
Among the issues above, a study on employer response to sexual harassment found that 64% of claims identify with employee termination.
How Does the Law Protect Employees from Title VII Retaliation?
Federal and state laws contain different provisions for protecting employees from employer retaliation resulting from sexual harassment. Such provisions can be seen in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. American law also prevents retaliation against an employee who filed a sexual harassment charge against their former employer with the EEOC. It includes the protection of the victim’s immediate family, friends, or acquaintances from employer retaliation.
While protective measures under these laws make it illegal for your employer to retaliate against you, do keep in mind that they will remain in effect even if the EEOC or the court proves that your employer did not sexually harass you. This circumstance will apply if you believe that you did experience it. Note that if you speak up against sexual harassment, you will still need to comply with your job’s governing requirements.
Lastly, Title VII and other related laws do not have general protections against negative actions directed at your job performance or illegal practices.
What Can You Attain from Filing a Retaliation Claim Against Your Employer?
Pursuing a sexual harassment retaliation claim or an administrative case against your employer may help you gain the following:
- Monetary compensation
- Job reinstatement
- Back pay, front pay, or other benefits
The court may even oblige your employer to avoid practicing this type of retaliation as early as possible.
Aside from the remedies mentioned above, you may also receive compensation for your pain and suffering caused by sexual harassment retaliation. These specific damages may constitute:
- Personal anger, embarrassment, frustration, and other negative emotions
- Damage to your reputation
- Other adverse effects on your well-being
If you are seeking compensation for any of the factors above, a mental health professional will assess you and give their testimony in court. This procedure will help determine your mental state after experiencing retaliation. However, compensation for pain and suffering does not have any specific amount. The jury for your case will decide this amount for you.
You can obtain punitive damages and recover lawyer’s fees from your employer as well. Gaining punitive damages is difficult since you can only get them if you are involved in a grievous retaliation claim and if you can reach a higher standard of proof with your evidence.
As for lawyer’s fees, your employer will have to pay these fees if the court requires them to do so. There will also be instances wherein your overall damages might include the rest of your attorney’s fees. This will apply if you do not have sufficient pay for your lawyer.
Hire a Competent Lawyer to Progress Your Sexual Harassment & Retaliation Claims
If your employer retaliates against you for filing a sexual harassment charge in the workplace, consulting a competent sexual harassment attorney is your best option. You might experience blatant or subtle acts of retaliation depending on how your employer responds to your claim. Your lawyer will analyze the factors surrounding your situation to find out if you have encountered retaliation at work.
Hiring a skilled sexual harassment lawyer is also crucial to your case as you will deal with complex anti-discrimination laws. Your employer may also get legal representation and hire aggressive defense lawyers for your sexual harassment and retaliation claims. These individuals will do everything in their power to disprove your allegations and prevent you from getting the compensation that you deserve. An experienced attorney will provide a proper defense against these circumstances and will ensure that you get the appropriate compensation for your claims.
To avoid possible issues with your case, seek necessary legal help from Mesriani Law Group’s experienced employment law attorneys in Los Angeles. We will help you build a strong case and gain proper compensation from your employer. With extensive experience in handling many labor law claims, you can get well-deserved justice for your employer’s unjust actions.