Can I be punished or fired for reporting harassment?

Many employees who fail to report harassment fear they will lose their job, they won’t be taken seriously, they will be blamed, or some form of retaliation. Harassment victims need to choose to either continue to tolerate the situation or take steps to end it, which may result in negative consequences.

It’s illegal to retaliate against an employee for complaining of illegal harassment. If harassment is reported, and the employee suffers consequences as a result, that employee not only may have a legal claim for harassment but retaliation as well.

An employer should not tolerate harassment of its employees. By reporting harassment, the employee should not only help him or herself by ending the problem, but also help the organization comply with the law, enforce its own policies, and hopefully prevent others from being subjected to similar behavior.