Can I be fired after reporting harassment?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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Can I be fired after reporting harassment?

I recently reported harassment by my supervisor. I reported this to the director of my department (my direct boss). I intended for him to handle the situation but was skeptical since they have a close relationship. When my director spoke to her on the phone she began to argue with a fellow co-worker. At that point I knew it would not be handled appropriately. I then wrote a letter to the VP of operations (copying all parties involved) and the next day I was let go because of work performance. I am an “at-will” employee so I know I can be let go, but this seems like retaliation.

Asked on August 26, 2011 New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In all states in this country there are laws making it illegal to fire an employee even if he or she is "at will" as a result of retaliation for reporting improper activities at work. Although you can and were fired for reporting harassment at work, your terminastion could be very well be wrongful.

You should carefully write down all the events leading to your termination, who you met with, what was discussed and the reasons for your termination and contact the local department of labor to lodge a formal complaint against your former employer.

You might also consider making an appointment with a labor attorney as to the possibility for bringing a wrongful termination action against your former employer as well.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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