Some might say that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You witnessed an act of sexual harassment at your workplace, and it was traumatic enough just to see it. After you stepped forward to support the victim and back up the victim’s claims, you became a victim yourself. Shortly after you spoke up on behalf of the victim, you were terminated.
This is an example of how the direct victims of sexual harassment are not the only ones who can get hurt at a Los Angeles workplace. People around the victim can get hurt, too. In some workplaces, a harasser will do anything — including retaliating against those who support the victim — to keep harassment claims under wraps. Once word gets out that people who step forward get fired, it can serve to discourage other victims from standing up for their rights.
Imagine, for example, that your boss tells you not to talk about the fact you saw him groping another employee. However, during corporate investigations, you tell what you know of the story truthfully, just as you saw it. This will clearly open you up to the threat of retaliation by your boss. That retaliation could be subtle, in the form of reduced shifts, reduced opportunities or poor performance ratings. It could also show up with you getting fired along with the sexual harassment victim.
California employees should never be afraid to report an instance of sexual harassment. They should also be able to report an event of sexual harassment that they witnessed without fear of retaliation. If you believe you lost your job or were retaliated against for reporting an instance of sexual harassment, you may be able to pursue an employment law claim for financial justice and restitution.