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DuPage County wrongful termination attorney sexual harassment

Sexual harassment may involve inappropriate, demeaning, or sexually explicit speech and actions at work. It may also involve an employer, supervisor, manager, or another person of authority using his or her position to solicit sexual contact from applicants or employees. Whether it is hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment, sexual harassment violates federal, state, and local laws.

Discrimination and harassment are not only immoral, but they can also cost victims their livelihoods. If you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may be considering filing a sexual harassment lawsuit and pursuing compensation for your damages. The exact amount you can gain from a successful sexual harassment claim varies significantly depending on the facts of the case and the type of harm caused by the harassment.

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DuPage County sexual harassment attorney

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination prohibited by federal, state, and local laws. Although most news stories about sexual harassment focus on wealthy celebrities or politicians, research shows that workers earning lower wages are at the highest risk of this type of harassment. Men and women working in the service sector make up a large percentage of sexual harassment victims. For a variety of reasons, retail workers employed by malls, department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores are often especially vulnerable to discrimination and harassment. With the help of a skilled attorney, they may be able to seek damages for their pain and suffering.

Factors That Lead to Harassment in the Retail Industry

Derogatory remarks, jokes about a person’s sexuality or gender, discriminatory behavior, unwanted physical contact, sexually explicit emails, and other inappropriate speech and conduct may contribute to a form of sexual harassment called hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a manager, supervisor, or another person of authority attempting to trade sexual contact for work-related benefits. Retail employees of all ages, races, and ethnicities have reported being exposed to both types of sexual harassment while at work. Experts believe that the high incidence of sexual harassment in the retail industry is caused by a number of factors including low wages, ineffective reporting procedures, and inadequate employee training. Many retail workers live paycheck to paycheck and worry that if they report sexual harassment, they will be assigned fewer work hours or an undesirable work schedule, demoted to a lower-ranking position, or even fired.

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DuPage County sexual harassment attorney

Concerns about COVID-19 have resulted in countless employees working from home. At first glance, it may seem as if remote workers are immune to sexual harassment. After all, if you are not in the office, how could you become a victim of sexual harassment? Unfortunately, many employees are still being subjected to unlawful discrimination and harassment even while working from home. If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of these unlawful acts, it is critical that you seek the guidance of a skilled attorney to protect your rights. 

Email or Text Messages May Contribute to a Hostile Work Environment

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when gender or sex-based remarks or behaviors are severe or pervasive enough to devalue working conditions and generate an abusive working environment. When most people think about sexual harassment, they assume that the abuse involves in-person remarks and behaviors. However, virtual interactions can constitute sexual harassment as well. In fact, it is often easier for a person to make inappropriate or demeaning comments to another individual online than it would be in person. Text messages, emails, and programs like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom are all avenues that may be used to communicate virtually and harass an employee. Remarks made via video and audio conferencing as well as sexually explicit pictures and videos sent over the Internet may also contribute to a hostile work environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment may occur between supervisors and employees working from home if the supervisor attempts to gain sexual favors in exchange for work benefits.   

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DuPage County sexual harassment lawyerNo one should ever be expected to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace. Discrimination on the basis of sex and gender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and numerous other federal and Illinois state laws. Unfortunately, many employees are unaware of their right to report harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is one type of harassment prohibited by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you have been a victim of quid pro quo or another type of sexual harassment at work, contact a sexual harassment attorney for help.

Victims of Quid Pro Quo Harassment May Be Employees or Potential Employees

The term “quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “this for that.” Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer, supervisor, or another person of authority attempts to trade a job-related benefit for sexual contact. The harassing party may imply or outrightly state that an employee will gain a favorable shift, work assignment, positive performance review, promotion, salary increase, or other work-related advantages if he or she tolerates the harassing party’s sexual advances. The harassing party may also threaten negative work consequences, such as a poor performance review or termination, if the employee does not submit to the sexual advances.

A victim of quid pro quo can also be a potential employee who has not yet been hired by the company. For example, an interviewer may make a pass at an applicant during a job interview and imply that the applicant will be hired if he or she complies with the sexual advances. It is very important to note that words, as well as actions, may constitute quid pro quo sexual harassment. An employer or supervisor does not have to explicitly state that a work benefit is contingent upon sexual contact in order to be guilty of quid pro quo 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