If you witness sexual harassment in the workplace or experience it yourself, you will probably want to do what you can to make sure that it never happens again. You will likely want to take action by reporting the incident to your manager or the appropriate government agency. If you have a genuine belief that sexual harassment occurred, you have the right to take this type of action without fear of the consequences.
As well as having the right to report sexual harassment at work, you also have protection from retaliation. If you reported the instance of potential sexual harassment and you were promptly fired after doing so, you may be able to take legal action by asserting your rights under whistleblower protection laws. You should take the time to learn more about your rights under the law before doing so.
What are my rights under whistleblower protection laws?
If you are a federal employee, you will be able to pursue legal action under the Whistleblower Protection Act. This will entitle you to take action if you believe that you were retaliated against as a result of making a report of sexual harassment. Even if you are not a federal employee, you can gain protection as a whistleblower reporting sexual harassment through laws set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These laws make it unlawful for a person to be fired after they report sexual harassment at work.
How can I prove that I am protected?
You can show that you are protected by whistleblower protection laws if you have proof of three things. First, you need to be able to show that you made a report of sexual harassment, or any other wrongful behavior. Second, you should show that the person who fired you or otherwise took an action that affected you knew of the disclosure you made. Finally, you must show that your report of sexual harassment was a contributing factor to your firing.
If you believe that you were wrongfully fired after making a complaint of sexual harassment, you must not accept this unjust treatment. By taking action, you may be able to gain damages for your firing or have your employment reinstated.