* I reported my Supervisor to a Manager of the opposite gender regarding the vigorous massage but nothing was done.
* Not long after reporting the incident, my Supervisor sent me an e-mail stating I was being placed on furlough.
* The Manager of opposite gender that I reported the incident to has now retired which was earlier than expected.
* My employer has also now fired me for reporting sexual harassment & retaliation to a federal state agency (EEOC).
These situations are highly fact specific. However, if you can prove that you were fired because you made a complaint to the EEOC, then you have a claim for wrongful termination against your employer. Consult with a local attorney as soon as possible to determine your best course of action moving forward. Good luck.
This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.
If you can prove your last statement, you have a legitimate lawsuit against your former employer. It is unlawful to retaliate against any person who makes a complaint of sexual harassment or unlawful retaliation to the EEOC. This is so even if the actual complaint you made, while in good faith, might be erroneous.
There are time limits for the bringing of such claims. You should act quickly. You need to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
Call an employment law attorney to discuss. Many of us offer a free initial phone consultation and if it appears that you have a good case, may be able to help you at no cost to you. It is unlawful to fire an employee because he/she complained about sexual harassment in good faith. An employment law attorney may be able to prepare a well written demand letter to your former employer and attempt to get a good settlement for you. Find employment law attorney contact info on Avvo.com. Kristine Karila, Employment Law Attorney and Mediator
You may have various employment related claims, but a full consultation would be necessary to properly advise you.
The last statement you make is the real bottom line...please retain an excellent employment lawyer (don't think the EEOC will do a good job handling your case for you).
It is illegal to fire an employee because they complained of sexual harassment. California's Fair Employment & Housing Act ("FEHA") prohibits it.
The issue will be one of proof. You must prove that you were reasonable in your belief that the "vigorous massage" was sexually harassing. If it was done to you, you will have a better argument than if it was done to someone else and was merely something you witnessed.
You will then need to prove that the retaliation against you was because of your complaint, and not something else that's unrelated to complaint. Timing is a good indication of that. They will, of course, claim other, legal reasons for your termination, and the burden will then be on you to show that those reasons aren't the real reasons.
If you believe that you have been illegally fired, and you decide that you want to take legal action, make sure to do so within your statute of limitations, or your rights may be lost forever.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Craig T. Byrnes
Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.
If you were fired for reporting harassment, that is retaliation, and you should see an employment lawyer immediately. There are plenty on this site who would talk to you without charge to help you figure out your next move, but if you are correct and were forced for an honest report, you should not waste time, do it soon.
More facts could change the answer. This response is not legal advice.
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