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Tag Archives: Civil Rights Act of 1964

DuPage County sexual harassment lawyersOver the last few years, sexual harassment and other types of sexual misconduct have become extremely hot-button issues, and for good reason. However, there is often a great deal of confusion regarding what the various terms used to describe the types of misconduct actually mean—at least when it comes to the law. For example, it is not uncommon to hear someone complain about being sexually harassed on the street or in a bar, but “sexual harassment” is not a criminal offense in Illinois. There may be other criminal offenses that encompass harassing behavior of a sexual nature, but none is called “sexual harassment.”

Sexual harassment, according to its legal definition, is a type of sex-based employment discrimination, and it includes several kinds of behavior. A manager who requests sexual favors in return for a promotion or workplace perks may be guilty of sexual harassment. Similarly, a group of workers who foster an environment of sexually-charged comments and jokes could also be committing acts of sexual harassment. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you have the right to take action, and such action could eventually take the form of a lawsuit. But, should you sue just your employer? Or, should you name individual managers or supervisors and attempt to hold them personally liable as well?

Complexities of Law

In general, if you are filing a sexual harassment claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, your manager or supervisor is not likely to have individual liability, even if he or she was the primary perpetrator of the harassment in question. Instead, your claim would be filed against your employer, and you could name the individual in your description of what happened. However, if you are filing a sexual harassment claim under the Illinois Human Rights Act, you could file a claim against the individual harasser.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, national religion, race, color, national origin, and religion. In addition to this important piece of federal legislation, many other federal and state laws prohibit employer discrimination against employees. Employees who experience sexual harassment or any other type of workplace discrimination have the right to report the harassment. Employers are legally obligated to take steps to stop sexual harassment and prevent future harassment. Unfortunately, some employers attempt to retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment.  

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination that involves sex-based remarks or behavior or the trading of sexual contact for work-related benefits. When an employee is a victim of sexual harassment, he or she may feel humiliated, offended, and demeaned. He or she may find it nearly impossible to do his or her job properly under these stressful conditions. No one should have to suffer through this experience.

Employees who are harassed are encouraged to report the harassment to the individual specified by the company’s sexual harassment policy—typically a supervisor or human resources employee. The company then has an obligation to address the harassment and take steps to prevent the employee from further harassment. Unfortunately, some employers do not adequately address employee sexual harassment and some even retaliate against employees who report harassment.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree