Can I be fired from a job if I have proof my supervisor made advances towards me?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Can I be fired from a job if I have proof my supervisor made advances towards me?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sexual harassment at work is illegal. If you have suffered it, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for compensation. As to whether you can be fired after having suffered it:

1) You cannot be fired because you experienced sexual harassment or because you reported it; however, if no one knows that you suffered it (i.e. you have not reported it to HR or upper management), as a practical matter, you have less protection on this basis--for example, if you were fired by a supervisor other than the one who made advances, it can't be retaliation if he didn't know of the issue.

2) Notwithstanding the above, you may be fired for unrelated reasons--for example, for excessive absenteeism, for violating company policy, for poor performance, etc. If the company alleges you were fired for a non-sexaul-harassment-relateed reason but you claim you were fired due to sexual harassment, that becomes a factual issue to be determined by the courts if you sue.

From what you write, it would be worthwhile for you to consult with an employment law attorney, to evalute your rights and options.

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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