Denver, CO- At least half of all women will be sexually harassed at least once on in their lifetimes while on the job. Men too are victims of sexual harassment. Even though federal law which firmly establishes that any employee who is sexually harassed has the right to report the incident without fear they will be punished for speaking out, but it happens far too often.
Punishing an employee for reporting incidents of sexual harassment is called retaliation, and can easier to prove when a case heads to court. Retaliation can take many forms, but is nonetheless damaging to the employee and the workplace as a whole.
Loss of Employment
In studies where victims and witnesses are asked why they don’t report incidents of sexual harassment they experience or observe, they often cite the fear of losing their jobs. Their need of employment is too great so they would rather endure the hostile behavior than rock the boat and put their jobs in jeopardy.
This isn’t the way the system is supposed to work, but employers sometimes target the reporting employee instead of the harasser. They often use some other excuse, such as poor performance, to fire an employee they consider to be a troublemaker.
There are occasions when a firing is not the result of the sexual harassment, but is caused by another event. For instance and employee is demoted after they complain about sexual harassment; they then complain about the demotion and are subsequently fired. This is retaliation and can be directly related to the sexual harassment.
Loss of Wages and Benefits
Some employers won’t go as far as firing an employee for filing a formal complaint but take other measures to punish an employee. This can included taking away pay raises, refusing future raises and promotions and denial of certain benefits such as pension contributions, overtime, bonuses, sick pay and requested schedules.
Employers sometimes retaliate against sexual harassment victims by reassigning them to a different department or business location. Transferring an employee can put an end to the sexual harassment, but the harasser remains unpunished. Because there are no consequences, the employer is not correcting the inappropriate behavior and can therefore encourage it.
Employee is Forced to Quit
Sexual harassment can be so pervasive and unaddressed the harassment victim quits their job because they can no longer tolerate the behavior. When the employee is able to prove the harassment was so intolerable they were forced to leave their jobs, this is still considered an illegal firing though it can be difficult to prove.
The victims of sexual harassment face challenges when they try to prove the harassment occurred in court. It often becomes a matter of one person’s word against another’s, but retaliation is easier to prove. Many employers keep records of sexual harassment complaints and it is simpler to link an initial compliant with any subsequent retaliation, than to prove the sexual harassment actually happened in the first place. Since proving sexual harassment is a challenge, it is crucial the victim retains a Denver sexual harassment attorney so they can build a successful case and assure you get the compensation you deserve.