If you’re experiencing sexual harassment at work, you may be considering the pros and cons of whether or not to pursue legal action. If you’re like most people experiencing sexual harassment, you’re probably wondering about your job during this time – specifically whether or not you should quit, if you can get fired, and can you keep your job even if you are suing or have sued your employer.
You are not the first person to deal with this issue, and we have helped several West Virginians work through this difficult question as they are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace and a hostile work environment.
A common belief is that you must leave your job or can even get fired for suing your employer. Fortunately, if you decide to take legal action against your employer for sexual harassment, the West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for exercising your rights and protecting yourself. Specifically, the West Virginia Human Rights Act prohibits any employer from engaging “in any form of reprisal or otherwise discriminate against any person because he or she has opposed any practices or acts forbidden under this article because he or she has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding . . . .” W. Va. Code § 5-11-9(7)(C).
That said, many people subject to sexual harassment feel that the work environment is so toxic due to the hostility and sexual harassment that they can no longer bear to work for that same employer who had permitted and sometimes even participated in the sexual harassment. When an employer has created a work environment that is so intolerable that the employee is essentially forced to leave, then the employee may be able to bring a claim for a “constructive discharge.” In other words, if your employer has permitted the work environment to get so bad that it is intolerable, you can leave your employment to protect yourself and your family.
Speak with Your Attorney
These issues are complex, and we understand they are difficult to deal with while you are being subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. We can consult with you free of charge and help you make the decision that is best for you. A legal professional can provide the insight and guidance you need to make the best decision for your unique situation.
If you have a similar legal question or wish to pursue legal action against your employer for sexual harassment, get in touch with Rod Smith PLLC for assistance. We offer a free consultation to help you get started by learning more about our services and what we may be able to help you accomplish.
Get in touch with us online or by calling (304) 406-7076 today!