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It may be scandalous, but reporting co-worker sexual shenanigans isn’t protected activity

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees who report what they perceive as offensive sexual conduct to their employer may think they are engaged in so-called protected activity. That’s rarely the case.

While the sexual activity they observe may indeed be offensive in the workplace, reporting it doesn’t mean the employee suddenly has protection from retaliation.

Here’s why: Protected activity includes reporting suspected violation of employment laws like sex discrimination, but the report has to be made in good faith. The employee has to reasonably believe that what she’s reporting is her employer’s act of discrimination or harassment. Holding the employer responsible for co-worker behavior isn’t reasonable under many circumstances. Here’s how it played out in a recent case.

Recent case: After Jennie lost her hospital job for alleged low productivity, she sued, claiming she was really fired in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment to her supervisors. ...(register to read more)

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