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What if You’re Fired for Setting Boundaries at Work?

You recently lost your job, and you believe it may be an example of illegal retaliation and wrongful termination. You don’t believe you should have been fired because you were just trying to keep yourself safe.

What happened is that a co-worker or supervisor was treating you in a way that you thought was inappropriate. Maybe they were simply making explicit jokes or touching you in a way that you didn’t appreciate. You thought it was sexual harassment, but you didn’t want to start an entire case at the time. Instead, you tried to talk with them and set some realistic boundaries for how they should treat you on the job.

However, your employer took offense to you trying to set these boundaries and simply decided to let you go. Is this legal?

This could certainly be a wrongful termination

If you felt like this was unfair already, your gut instinct was correct. Workers are protected from firings under federal law, if they’re being fired as “retaliation, or revenge, for participating in protected activities, such as reporting unlawful activities.” Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, so if you reported that to HR and tried to talk to your coworker or supervisor about how they should treat you, and you were fired as a result, then that firing is a retaliation stemming from the harassment. In short, your rights have been violated in two different ways by the company or those you work with.

At a time like this, it’s critical that you understand all of the legal steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights.