I Complained of Sexual Harassment and got Fired. Do I Need an Attorney?

Wrongful Termination Lawyers Helping New York City Residents

Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination prohibited under federal, state, and local laws. It can include both quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environments. The former occurs when an employer or supervisor threatens an adverse employment action or proposes a positive employment action that is contingent on your accepting sexual advances. The latter occurs when conduct is severe or pervasive enough that reasonable people would find it hostile, abusive, or intimidating. The law also protects people who complain of sexual harassment and who then suffer from retaliation. If you complained of sexual harassment and then got fired or experienced another form of retaliation, the New York City wrongful termination attorneys at Phillips & Associates can assist you in taking legal action.

How an Attorney Can Assist Sexual Harassment Victims

If you suspect that the reason you were fired is because you complained of sexual harassment, it is important that you consult an attorney. In many cases, it is better to consult the attorney about the harassment when it happens as well. The law related to harassment and retaliation is complex. Not only do you have a limited window within which to make your claims, but also you have only one chance to frame your case in the best possible light with the EEOC or the court.

Title VII and other laws in New York make it illegal to take an adverse employment action—such as firing, demoting, harassing, or docking pay—against an applicant or employee for complaining to a covered employer about harassment, for filing a charge of harassment, or for participating in an employment discrimination proceeding, such as an investigation. Retaliation is prohibited with regard to all aspects of employment, including the terms and conditions of employment, fringe benefits, promotions, job assignments, hiring, salary, and firing. For example, it is illegal for an employer to fire you because you file a charge of sexual harassment. This holds even if the EEOC decides there actually was no harassment.

If you complain of sexual harassment and get fired, this may be retaliation, which is prohibited by law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administers Title VII claims, including sexual harassment and retaliation. It has reported that over the past decade, retaliation is the most common allegation it hears from federal employees and the most common discrimination finding in a claim related to the federal sector. In some cases, the EEOC does not find a violation of law with regard to a sexual harassment claim, but it may still make a discrimination finding with respect to a retaliation allegation from the same incident.

It is common for employers to try to seek revenge against employees whom they perceive as troublesome. However, you have every right to complain of sexual harassment, using both internal employment complaint mechanisms and the EEOC, if you believe that you have been harassed. If you are sexually harassed and then fired, you may be able to establish liability for retaliation.

Discuss Your Wrongful Termination Case with a New York City Attorney

Sexual harassment cases are often challenging because they may involve a "he said, she said" situation in which the only two witnesses are you and the harasser. However, nobody should need to deal with unwelcome sexual conduct in connection with employment activities. The New York City wrongful termination lawyers at Phillips & Associates are aggressive, experienced advocates for the rights of employees. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation. We can assist victims of sexual harassment and retaliation throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.

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