Can my company fire me for giving my friend advice?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

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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