Good Evening -
This is probably going to come as a surprise to you, but if you did not do what your co-workers are alleging, what you have described is sexual harassment - but you are the victim.
Here's a discussion of Pennsylvania law that may help you explore your options:
Pennsylvania is an employment-at-will state. That means that any employer can take an
adverse action, including termination, against an employee at any time for any
reason that is not against the law or discriminatory.
An adverse employment decision that is against the law would
be, for example, terminating an employee in retaliation because the employee
filed an OSHA complaint.
A discriminatory reason would be one based on race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy or
age. Here is an Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission publication explaining illegal discrimination: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html. Here is information specific to
An employer does not have to treat all employees the same,
as long as the reason for treating employees differently is not against the law
There are exceptions to employment-at will. Those are:
An employment contract.
An employment manual that states employment is
not at will, or that certain procedures must be followed to terminate an
A union agreement.
In Pennsylvania, an employee may not be
terminated for reasons in violation of Pennsylvania's public policy.
There may be additional exceptions that apply to
public employees, such as police officers and employees of government agencies.
A "hostile work environment" is related to the issue of
discrimination and retaliation. A "hostile work environment" arises when an
employee is harassed in the workplace because they are in a protected class, or
in retaliation for filing a complaint. A prime example of a hostile work environment
is in the movie North Country, where
a woman working in a mine was subjected to sexual taunts and assaults because
she was a woman. (A "hostile work
environment" does not happen just because a workplace is awful to work in, or
an employer is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious - the bad treatment has to
happen because of discrimination or retaliation.)
If the adverse employment action was discriminatory, here is
a link to the EEOC website for more information: http://www.eeoc.gov/. Here is information on filing a complaint in
You must file a
complaint within six months of the discrimination!
If the adverse employment action might have been
retaliatory, contact the agency where the Complaint was filed and ask for
If the adverse employment action was wrongful but not
discriminatory, a government agency cannot help, but an attorney may be able to
is a good resource. If the adverse
employment action violated a Union agreement, you need to work with your Union
Comment: Merely talking about sex may be grounds for being fired, but it isn't grounds for criminal charges.
Good luck with this!