What Can I Do if I've Been Retaliated Against for Reporting Sexual Assault?

If you report sexual harassment within the workplace and you get retaliated against in any way, shape or form, it very well could be an actionable item. Types of retaliation could be a cut in pay, a demotion, increasing or decreasing your workload, being written up, or being terminated. If any of those types of things have happened, or you just feel the workplace has changed since you've made a complaint of sexual harassment, give us a call at Phillips & Associates. We handle these types of matters. We can discuss it further then and see if there's a way that we could help out.

New York City Lawyers for Victims of Sexual Harassment

Sexual assault is a frightening and humiliating experience for most people. It often is a display of power, and sometimes it occurs in the workplace. Sexual assault is a type of sexual harassment and discrimination. In New York, every employee is entitled to work in a place free from harassment, including assault. Unfortunately, not all employers respond appropriately when sexual assault is reported to them. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City retaliation lawyers may be able to help you recover damages if you have been subjected to retaliation for reporting workplace misconduct.

Sexual Assault in the Workplace

In addition to any criminal charges that might apply, you are entitled to bring a civil lawsuit for suffering from a sexual assault in the workplace. In New York, you are entitled to work in an environment free from sex discrimination, regardless of the number of employees that your employer has. With regard to sexual harassment, the New York Human Rights Law provides protection even if there is only one employee (you). Domestic workers are also protected from sexual harassment and assault.

What Can I Do if I've Been Retaliated Against for Reporting Sexual Assault?

You should report sexual assault in the workplace. Your employment manual may include a specific grievance procedure that you should follow. In some cases, there is no employment manual, and you will need to report the matter to HR. You may be concerned that your employer will take an adverse action against you for reporting the sexual assault, particularly if a person in a position of authority within the company was the person who committed the assault. While this fear is not unfounded, all three of the anti-discrimination laws that may apply to your case (Title VII, the New York Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law) prohibit retaliation.

Retaliation for reporting sexual assault is illegal. You may sue your employer for monetary damages if it takes a retaliatory action against you for your report. Retaliatory actions include any adverse action, including cuts in pay, demotions, increasing or decreasing workloads, termination, or being written up.

Sometimes it is hard for an employee to figure out if a retaliatory step has been taken, although they can tell that the workplace has changed. Our firm can look at the facts with you and may be able to represent you in a retaliation claim.

Proving a Retaliation Claim

In order to prove that you have been subjected to retaliation, you will need to show that the adverse actions of your employer arose out of your participation in a protected activity. This means that your employer must know about the sexual assault and then take an adverse step. Sometimes unscrupulous employers make up other reasons for taking the step, such as poor performance. We may be able to build a strong case against your employer by showing that the adverse action (or series of adverse actions) happened after the employer knew about your protected activity, the reasons given for the adverse action are inconsistent with your performance reviews, and other workers acted the same way that you did but were not punished as harshly.

You may recover damages for retaliation even if the court determines that your employer was not responsible for the sexual assault or had no way of preventing the assault, as long as you had a good-faith basis for the protected activity of reporting the assault. The damages that you may recover depend in part on which law (federal, state, or local) is applied to your case. There are certain damages caps if you expect to bring your claim under Title VII in federal court, and in most cases, you may proceed under local law.

Seek Assistance From a New York City Lawyer for Your Retaliation Claim

Our experienced New York City attorneys can advise you on the protections available to you if you have been a victim of retaliation. Contact us online or at (866) 229-9441 for a free appointment with a sexual harassment lawyer. We battle employment discrimination in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Westchester, and Suffolk Counties and New Jersey.