There are laws on the books that prevent most employers across Indiana and the nation from firing or taking retaliatory action against employees who report experiencing sexual harassment on the job. However, many employers terminate or otherwise retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment despite these laws.
According to the Mercury News, only a small percentage, or about 1.8%, of those who experience on-the-job sexual harassment report their experiences to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Those who do make formal reports rarely see substantial monetary awards, although this may change in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Termination after reporting sexual harassment
The majority of American employees who make formal complaints about on-the-job sexual harassment have their employers fire them within a year of making their allegations. A study of about 46,000 sexual harassment complaints filed across the nation showed that employers wound up firing 64% of claimants within 12 months of them making their reports.
Retaliation after reporting sexual harassment
Sexual harassment victims who make reports about their treatment face an even higher chance of facing some type of work-related retaliation. Almost 70% of those who reported instances of sexual harassment said they experienced adverse treatment after doing so. Retaliation may take on many different forms. In some cases, it may manifest as an employer denying a worker a deserved raise or promotion. Other times, it might involve an employer making threats or harassing an employee in some manner, among other possible examples.
Reporting sexual harassment is a “protected activity.” This means there are legal protections in place for those who do so.