Consequences of Sexual Harassment

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What Happens If There Is Sexual Harassment?

Both the harasser and the victim can face serious consequences for sexual harassment. Not only is it demoralizing and intimidating, it also carries financial strains.

Loss of Job

Some consequences of sexual harassment are much clearer than others. For instance, an employee may be demoted and/or fired for complaining about the demotion. If the employee has to take a temporary leave of absence due to the harassment, some employers may use the temporary leave as an excuse to fire the employee. 

Loss of Wage and Benefits

Other consequences of sexual harassment may not be as clear as a loss of job. Such consequences may include:

Additionally, your reputation may be harmed such that you will miss out on future promotions and opportunities.

Forced Reassignment or Constructive Discharge

Sometimes an employer’s solution to a sexual harassment case is to reassign the victim to a different department while nothing changes for the harasser. This transfer may be to a position with less opportunity and a poorer working environment. Essentially, the transfer may jeopardize the victim’s career growth, pay, and benefits.

This may even lead to a resignation by the victim due to the hostile and intolerable environment. This is referred to as constructive discharge, which can be considered a forced termination. Sexual ultimatums and explicit threats are considered to be circumstantial to constructive discharges.


If the employee loses her job or is being punished for reporting a sexual harassment incident, then the punishment is considered retaliation. An employer cannot punish the employee for being the victim of workplace sexual harassment.  

Consulting an Attorney

If you faced discrimination in your sexual harassment matter, please consult an employment attorney to protect your rights. The attorney can help you obtain monetary damages for the loss of your reputation and career development.

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Last Modified: 06-30-2015 09:03 PM PDT

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