Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are always encouraged to file a complaint when they have been sexually harassed by their employer. Unfortunately, many find that once they build up the courage to actually file their complaint, their employer becomes rather displeased and attempts to retaliate against them in one of several different ways. Some examples the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides that would constitute as employer retaliation include:
- An employer fires their employee for unknown or invalid reasons.
- The employer suspends or demotes an individual after they have filed a harassment complaint.
- They reprimand them or give them a performance evaluation that is lower than it should be.
- They transfer the employee to a less desirable position.
- They engage in verbal or physical abuse.
- The employer threatens to make, or actually makes reports to authorities (such as reporting immigration status or contacting the police).
- The employee receives an increased amount of scrutiny from their employer.
- The employer spreads false rumors or begins to treat a family member negatively. For instance, they might “cancel a contract with the employee’s spouse.”
- They make the employee’s workload more difficult. For example, they might punish an employee for filing a sexual harassment complaint by “purposefully changing his work schedule to conflict with family responsibilities.”
But the truth is, employers are prohibited from punishing their employees “for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination, including harassment.” Those who choose to engage in such behavior are at risk of being faced with various consequences when they choose to retaliate against an employee. Now, if you are a victim of sexual harassment and you recently filed a complaint in the state of Texas, yet your employer has begun to engage in behavior that is classified as a form of retaliation, you will want to contact a TX sexual harassment lawyer who can help you prove your claims as well as take the appropriate form of action against your employer.
The reality is, it isn’t enough to just claim your employer retaliated against you, rather you will have to prove by way of evidence that they did. Some examples of evidence the EEOC says that can be used to support your claim of retaliation include:
- The timing between the filing of your complaint and the materially adverse action. Materially adverse action means “any action that might deter a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity.” An example the EEOC provided that would be classified as materially adverse action involved an employer who “transferred a worker to a harder, dirtier job within the same pay grade, and suspending her without pay for more than a month (even though the pay was later reimbursed).” Therefore, if your employer engaged in any type of behavior mentioned above after you filed your sexual harassment complaint, you will want to use this information to help support your claim.
- You received a verbal or written statement demonstrating a “retaliatory motive.” For example, you were “disciplined for an infraction that regularly goes undisciplined in that workplace” or another employee who committed the same infraction who did not file a complaint was not “not disciplined as severely” as you were.
- “Any pieces of evidence which, viewed alone or in combination with other facts, may support an inference of retaliatory intent.”
As we mentioned above, it is in your best interest to contact a TX sexual harassment lawyer if you believe your employer is trying to retaliate against you for filing a complaint. The attorneys at Moore & Associates are available 24/7 and would be more than happy to help you understand what your legal rights are and what your next steps should be. This team of attorneys understands how stressful life might be for you right now which is why they are ready and available to provide you with the legal guidance you need.
You can reach Moore & Associates at:
440 Louisiana Street, #675
Houston, TX 77002
Moore & Associates serves clients throughout the entire state of Texas including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock, San Antonio, etc.