What constitutes retaliation for filing an harrassment claim?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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What constitutes retaliation for filing an harrassment claim?

I’m a black man who has recently filed a harassment complaint on a white woman at my job and have been off for more than a week without pay “pending investigation”. Then they called me today and told me I was suspended until further notice because someone is filing an harassment charge on me. I think its retaliation for filing the harassment complaint.

Asked on August 25, 2011 Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether this is retaliation depends on the facts. If there was in fact a harassment charge filed in good faith against you (e.g. sexual or racial harassment) and the company is also treating you the same as it treated the person against whom you filed the charge (e.g. not discriminating in how it responds to the charges), this may not be retaliation--after all, there is no legal or practical reason why a person who is himself harassed cannot harass others, and so long as the company is evenhandledly investigating, etc. in good faith, it is likely not doing anything wrong. That said, it could also be retaliation, if the facts don't bear this out, and if you think that is the case, you ought to consult with an employment attorney. Good luck.

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