Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Was This Texas Woman Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment?

By Dan Atkerson on October 26, 2016

Director yelling at the assistantA Texas woman is suing her employer for workplace retaliation after she was allegedly fired for filing a sexual harassment complaint. Christina Johnson was working at USA Mobile Drug Testing in Houston as a medical assistant. She says that Tony Ononye, one of her coworkers, continually asked her about her marital status and made discomforting comments. The woman says that after he inappropriately touched her on a few occasions, she decided to take action.

Johnson says she started by going to the company’s human resources department, where she received no help. In fact, according to the court documents, she was temporarily demoted to a collector position off-site. When she eventually did return to her position as a medical assistant, she claims that the harassment continued, and eventually even led to sexual assault.

She then filed an official complaint, which prompted her employer to fire her. While her employer admitted that Ononye’s behavior had been unacceptable, it also blamed Johnson for the incident.

Workplace Retaliation is Against the Law

Workplace retaliation is common, but that does not make it legal or morally acceptable. Employees have the right to do all of the following without fear of punishment from their employer.
  • Claim unpaid wages
  • File for worker’s compensation
  • Report illegal activity
  • File a sexual harassment complaint
  • File a discrimination complaint
If an employer fires, mistreats, demotes or otherwise retaliates against an employee for taking these steps, they are in violation of the law. It does not matter if the employee’s claims are not proven, the retaliation is still illegal. This is important because it empowers victims and whistleblowers to step forward without fear of punishment. If you have been the victim of workplace retaliation, you should speak with an experienced employment lawyer.

Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer with a passion for defending victims of workplace injustices such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination and workplace retaliation.

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