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I was fired for reporting workplace sexual harassment. What now?

Under federal and California state laws it is illegal for an employer to fire one of their employees because they reported workplace sexual harassment. If you were fired shortly after reporting a sexual harassment case and have reason to believe that the two are related, then you should lawyer up and fight back.

What makes this tricky is that it can be complicated to prove that your termination was due to the sexual harassment report and not something else. Employers aren’t going to tell you that you’ve been fired because of the incident even if that is the real reason. You will need to collect as much evidence as possible in order to strengthen your case.

Keep detailed accounts of every instance of harassment, all the actions you’ve taken, and what your employer has done about it. Write down the date and time. Mention what happened, who witnessed it, how others reacted, and what you felt. And keep your records on a personal email account or computer. Employers have the legal right to monitor work emails and accounts, so keep everything saved in a non-work-related location.

The goal is to be able to show a correlation between termination your taking action (asking the harasser to stop, reporting a complaint, talking to HR, etc.).

Being fired is also not the only form of retaliation. Other illegal forms of employer retaliation include:

  • Demotion
  • Denied promotion
  • Threats to report your immigration status to the
  • Reduced compensation
  • Loss of some benefits
  • Reassignment/Transfer with significantly different responsibilities
  • Suspensions
  • Denied flex time
  • Poor job references/evaluations
  • Spreading of false rumors about you

The subtler the retaliation, the harder it can be to prove. If you suspect it’s happening to you, reach out to an attorney for help. An experienced lawyer will be able to advise you on next steps and champion your case in court.

To privately discuss your workplace incident regarding sexual harassment or other Workers’ Compensation questions please call toll-free 1-877-292-4888 or visit to speak to an experienced trial attorney?