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Addressing retaliation after workplace sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2021 | Employment Law For Employees

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in American workplaces. In practically all industries and in all states, it impacts workers and creates painful, damaging environments in which victims still try to do their work. Sexual harassment happens in Kentucky and hurts victims who only want a safe place do to their jobs.

Some victims stand up to their harassers and seek to stop their negative workplace treatment. It is important that victims recognize their rights and utilize their legal options to bring sexual harassment to its end. However, in response to their rightful actions, some victims of sexual harassment experience a secondary form of workplace harm: retaliation.

This post will discuss post-sexual harassment retaliation. It does not provide legal guidance or any specific legal advice. It is informational and all questions about retaliation should be asked of knowledgeable employment law attorneys.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation is a damaging workplace problem. It happens when a worker stands up for what is right and is punished for it. For example, if a worker is the victim of sexual harassment from their boss, they may elect to report the harassment to their human resources department. The HR department may initiate an investigation which may anger the harassing boss. In retaliation for the worker’s action of informing HR of their bad conduct, the boss may demote the victim in retaliation.

Proactive planning can help companies prevent retaliation

Not all employers take proactive steps to prevent retaliation at work. However, creating policies and protecting victimized workers’ confidentiality can go a long way in preventing retaliation from occurring. When an employer fails to protect an aggrieved employee, the employee may have options for seeking relief.

What to do when facing sexual harassment or retaliation

There are rarely easy answers for addressing sexual harassment and retaliation at work. Individuals should follow their employers’ policies regarding reporting and investigating wrongful practices at work. They can also hire employment law attorneys to advise them of their rights and advocate for their needs. As every employment law case is different, specific guidance cannot be provided herein. Victims of sexual harassment can, however, educate themselves of their options through consultations with trusted legal professionals.