When sexual harassment occurs in the workplace it is mostly the victims themselves who come forward to report the situation in which they feel harassed. But what happens when it is someone else? What rights do they have?
In fact, a lot. Federal laws, namely Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, not only protect a victim from retaliation from his or her employer, but also the person reporting the abuse. In a recently filed case, the EEOC charged Gold International, Inc. with retaliation against a male employee who had reported sexual harassment of several of his female coworkers. The day after filing an internal grievance, Jeffrey White, the former employee of Gold International, Inc., was terminated. Although Gold International, Inc. offered to rehire Mr. White, the rehiring was conditioned on Mr. White withdrawing his EEOC claim for retaliation. Gold International, Inc. later rehired Mr. White, only to terminate him weeks later. Upon being questioned as to why it was important to pursue cases like these, local EEOC representatives expressed his feelings that “the threat of retaliation can prevent employees from raising legitimate concerns with their employer out of fear for their jobs.”
Do you feel there is sexual harassment around you in the workplace? Does it make you or others feel uncomfortable? Speak with an attorney today.