Harassment in the workplace of any type is challenging to deal with. Unfortunately, coping with this type of hostile work environment can take a huge emotional and mental toll on you.
Cases of harassment can be extremely traumatic and impact everything from productivity to causing physical symptoms, such as gastrointestinal distress, depression, sleep disorders and low self-esteem. Even though harassment has many negative effects, victims often hesitate to report the situation for fear of retaliation.
While it’s unlawful for employers in California to retaliate against workers when they file a harassment report, some employees can face retaliation. As an employee, you have rights and options. Knowing what they are is imperative to protect yourself.
Ways employers may retaliate against an employee
If an employer retaliates against you in any way, you can pursue legal action. Even if you filed a complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding the harassment you endured, it’s possible to file another complaint about the case of retaliation you have dealt with after reporting harassment.
Common ways employers retaliate include demotion, denying an earned promotion, loss of hours, transfer to an undesirable office or location, salary reduction, exclusion from work activities, reassignment of tasks, job responsibility reduction, and termination.
Proving retaliation in your California workplace
You must prove your employer retaliated against you after the harassment report was filed by gathering evidence of how they acted to recover damages. It’s also necessary to calculate damages resulting from these actions.
Calculating damages requires you to gather evidence of reduced pay or hours by providing schedules, W-2 forms, pay stubs and other documentation. You may also have medical costs related to the physical symptoms mentioned above caused by the harassment or retaliation.
Ending harassment and retaliation in the workplace
If you don’t report cases of harassment, they are likely to continue and get worse. After reporting the situation, if your employer retaliates, you can pursue legal action against them. While cases can be challenging to prove, it’s not impossible. You must protect your rights to help create a safer and more productive work environment for everyone.