Despite the rise of the #MeToo movement and greater scrutiny on how women are treated in the workplace, sexual harassment continues to occur at an alarming rate. Some coworkers are simply ignorant as to what actually constitutes harassment, while others simply don’t think they will got caught engaging in it. Regardless of how it occurs, sexual harassment is unacceptable and illegal. You shouldn’t be forced to its exposure, but when you are, you should feel comfortable and confident when reporting it to your superiors or your human resources department.
Yet, all too often women are punished for reporting their mistreatment. As strange as it may sound, not all forms of retaliation are easily recognizable. Part of the reason is because we tend to take blame upon ourselves and convince ourselves that we are overreacting. But this isn’t the case. So, if you’ve been subjected to any of the actions listed below after reporting sexual harassment, then it might be time for you to think about whether taking legal action is right for you:
- Your performance evaluation is worse than it should be
- You’ve been reassigned to a less desirable position or job duty
- You’ve been physical or verbally abused
- You’ve been reported to law enforcement, human resources, or even immigration authorities
- You’ve been threatened with the possibility of being reported to those same officials
- You’re increasingly scrutinized
- False rumors are spread about you and your family
- You or members of your family are treated negatively
- Your job is made more difficult for seemingly no reason at all
- Your pay is decreased
- Your hours are cut
- You’re fired
Any of these retaliatory actions can leave you with an extensive amount of emotional and financial pain that you certainly don’t deserve. If you’re in this situation, don’t let your employer get the best of you. Instead, fight back for yourself and in the interest of what’s right. In that regard, it might be time for you to think about working closely with a strong legal advocate who will stand up for you.