Can my company fire me for giving my friend advice?

My friend was being sexually harassed at work by her boss. She asked me for advice and I

told her that she should report it but after she stated that she was in fear of losing her job. I

informed her that she should document it and record any secret conversations that he would

try to have with her. After that, she was let go from the company, so she decided to write the letter to the owner of the company about her being sexually harassed. She asked if she could use my name in her letter as a witness, and I told her yes.

Asked on April 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, an employer may terminate you for giving a coworker advice, such as about which managers or shifts are better, how much you think she should be paid, whether a work assignment was fair, etc.
However, an employer may not terminate someone for reporting sexual harassment. While what you are doing is not directly reporting the harassment, you are involved in the reporting process and are helping an employee to make a report: it is reasonably likely that if you were to be terminated for your role in this, that would be considered illegal retaliation and you might therefore have a legal claim, one you could bring to the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency.


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