Some Florida employers will ruthlessly terminate someone’s employment after the worker complains about sexual harassment or some other problem at work. Rather than appropriately investigating the matter, the employer will ignore the problem and show the employee the door. Other times, the employer will conduct a detailed investigation to determine what actually occurred and respond accordingly.
The latter scenario is certainly preferred. However, what if the employer determines that sexual harassment didn’t occur, and in response, the employer terminates the employee who allegedly made an untruthful complaint? Even worse, what if a judge agrees that no sexual harassment occurred after the employee files a complaint for employment retaliation and wrongful termination? Will the judge reject the claim for retaliation and wrongful termination?
The answer to the last and most important question is, “No.” Employees in Florida and elsewhere do not need to worry about accidentally making a false complaint about sexual harassment. Furthermore, employees don’t have to try to evaluate the legality of their current situation before reporting behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable. Ultimately, the courts will not expect a complaining employee to have the tools of legal analysis required to evaluate the viability of a potential complaint before bringing problematic behavior to light.
If you were fired after complaining about sexual harassment — regardless of whether your complaint holds water in court — you may have been wrongfully terminated; it could be as simple as that. Make sure you fully evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding your termination to ensure that you pursue your claims for justice and restitution in a lawful and appropriate fashion.