Employees often fear reporting sexual harassment as they are afraid of employer retaliation. Here’s everything you need to know about retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in California.

Sexual harassment is any discrimination that is gender-based. Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment can be in the form of termination, demotions, and salary reductions. It is important to keep a record of termination in order to prove that you have been a victim of retaliation for reporting sexual assault.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is both unwanted sexual advances but additionally, visual, verbal, or physical conduct. This conduct is of a sexual nature that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive. In California, sexual harassment does not need to be of a sexual nature; it can be based on an individual’s gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions. Sexual harassment is any gender-based harassment that subjects the employee to a hostile workplace environment.

Related: How to File a Sexual Harassment Complaint in California

What Is Employer Retaliation in California?

Employer retaliation in California is unlawful discrimination by an employer. It is when an employer takes negative action towards an employee for engaging in a protected action.

Examples of Employer Retaliation for Reporting Sexual Harassment in California

Examples of employer retaliation for reporting sexual harassment include:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Transferring the employee
  • Reduction in salary
  • Denying promotions or pay raises
  • Unwarranted poor performance reviews
  • Exclusion from staff activities

What Can I Do If My Employer Retaliates Against Me For Reporting Sexual Harassment?

1. Talk to your Supervisor or HR representative

It is important to speak to your supervisor or HR representative about the reasons you believe you were terminated.

2. File a Retaliation Claim with the EEOC

If your employer refuses to admit wrongdoing your next step is to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

3. Build a Case

In order to prove retaliation, you must establish a link between the termination and your sexual harassment claim. Document the termination as well as any other evidence to help prove discrimination. An example of this can be emails or documents. Maintain a record of the termination (record time, place, any other important details)

4. Consult a Lawyer

Consider consulting a lawyer if you believe you have been retaliated against. A lawyer can advise you on the strength of your case as well as the compensation you may receive.

How to Prove Retaliation

To prove retaliation, the plaintiff must demonstrate that

  • The employee was involved in an activity protected by FEHA
  • The employer engaged in action against the employee or materially/adversely affected the terms of the employment
  • The employee’s protected activity was the reason for the employer to take action against the employee.
  • The employee was harmed
  • The employer’s conduct caused the employee harm

FAQs About Retaliation For Reporting Sexual Harassment in California

Is retaliation considered harassment in California?

Retaliation is considered discrimination. EEO laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for asserting their rights.

What are the 3 forms of harassment?

The three forms of harassment are Verbal/Written, Physical, and Visual. Harassment can be based on race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and age.

Is it hard to prove retaliation?

Yes, it can be hard to prove retaliation. However, it is possible with the proper documentation.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has experienced retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in California, get your free consultation with one of our Employment Discrimination Attorneys in California today! We won’t charge you a dime unless you win your case.