“Can I be fired for reporting sexual harassment?”
No, you cannot be fired FOR reporting sexual harassment, as that’s illegal retaliation, because the sexual harassment reporting itself is protected activity under United States and your state’s civil rights laws. Yet, your company CAN fire you after you report sexual harassment, but they’ll likely come up with other reasons for the firing in order to protect themselves. Why?
Because you can be fired after you report sexual harassment, just like you can be fired when you’re pregnant, or when you’re disabled, or when you’re over 40. You just can’t be fired BECAUSE you’re pregnant, disabled or over 40? Or because you’re reported SH. It’s all about the why of the firing. Does that make sense? If you’ve reported sexual harassment, but before you did you were on probation or the last legs of a PIP, your company can still fire you even after you’ve reported sexual harassment, because then they’ll have non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons for firing you. See what I mean?
So, the trick is to report the sexual harassment in writing asap, and then document all follow-up conversations by email, so that you’ll have a chronological paper trail of your complaint and the company’s investigation. And hopefully your written sexual harassment complaint is filed with the company before your employer subjects you to a so-called adverse employment action, such as a PIP, or probation, demotion or termination. This way if you’re fired for a bogus or pretextual reason on the heels of your sexual harassment complaint, you’ll have proof of the reporting so that you can hold your employer accountable for the retaliatory firing. I’m Jack Tuckner and we’re women’s rights in the workplace advocates. If you or a loved one are experiencing sex discrimination, please contact us by phone or email and we’ll consult with you in total confidence and free of charge. We’ll stand with you when you’re ready to step up and fight for your right to be equal.