Can I be fired for turning in one employee of mine for sexual harassment of another employee?

I have an employee out on disability. During this time, another employee came to me and told me , she had been inapropraitly touched and vulgarity had been used numerous times, by the employee on disbility. She wrote a statement, and I told my supervisor. Can they fire me for this, as the harasser is a favorite? what action to do I take now?

2 answers  |  asked Jun 30, 2010 11:57 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, if you are fired for reporting sexual harassment to your employer, you will likely have a claim for illegal retaliation in violation of Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

I would recommend reviewing whatever policies and procedures your employer has; if they require you to investigate or take any other action, then I recommend that you ask your supervisor in writing (i.e. email) whether they want you to take the actions referenced in the policies. If there are no policies, I'd recommend just emailing your supervisor and asking whether s/he wants you to take any action on the complaint. If you are told yes, then do what is necessary. If you are told no, then the burden will be on them to investigate, and you are out of the picture.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Jun 30, 2010 1:04 PM [EST]
Mardi Harrison
Well, your employer can fire you for anything. The question I think you're asking is, "if my employer fires me because I reported an instance of sexual harassment, do I have any legal recourse?" Yes -- you do have legal recourse. The termination could be considered retaliation for reporting the illegal activity, and retaliation is a violation of Title VII (the statute that protects employees against harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, national original and sex. The statute covers people who testify on behalf of the person who was harassed. Remember, though -- it will be your burden to prove that that is the reason why you were terminated. You can bet your employer will tell a different story that you will have to disprove in order to prevail.

posted by Mardi Harrison  |  Jun 30, 2010 12:46 PM [EST]

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