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Tag Archives: Illinois sexual harassment attorney

Illinois workplace discrimination attorneysWorkplace sexual harassment can be a tremendously stressful ordeal to endure. Not only do victims have to deal with the humiliation and tension caused by the actual harassment, they must also face the nerve-racking decision of whether or not to report the harassment. Some may wonder why a victim of sexual harassment would tolerate this unlawful mistreatment in lieu of filing a sexual harassment report. However, there are many reasons that victims of sexual harassment remain silent or refuse to come forward.

If you are being sexually harassed at work, you should know that you do not have to face the issue alone. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you with everything from filing a report to seeking financial compensation for a wrongful termination.

Victims May Not Know What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

There are many misconceptions about what the term “sexual harassment” means. Some people mistakenly assume that only physical interactions constitute sexual harassment or that digital harassment “does not count” as harassment. In reality, any inappropriate behavior or language that is related to a person’s sex, gender, or physicality may be considered sexual harassment.

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Illinois sexual harassment retaliation lawyersAcross the country, men and women are saying “no more” to workplace sexual harassment. No one should be made to tolerate demeaning sexual remarks and behavior while they are at work. However, many people stay silent about sexual harassment because they are afraid reporting the sexual harassment will get them fired. Fortunately, there are laws in place which prohibit employers from firing an employee for making a sexual harassment complaint.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

There are two types of sexual harassment recognized by the law: quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a superior attempts to trade sexual attention for workplace perks or continued employment. Hostile work environment harassment occurs when derogatory, discriminatory, or sexual comments and behavior interferes with an employee’s ability to do his or her job.

Can I Sue for Wrongful Termination?

Illinois is an at-will state, which means an employee can be fired at any time and for almost any reason. However, there are several exceptions to the at-will rule. Legally, an Illinois employer cannot fire an employee for discriminatory reasons or in retaliation for the employee exercising his or her rights. Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination protected against by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws. If the only reason a person was fired was because they complained about sexual harassment, they may bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against the employer.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment can happen to anyone. Both men and women can be perpetrators and victims of unwanted sexual attention or remarks. Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination protected against by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By law, employers must respond to and investigate allegations of sexual harassment thoroughly. This does not only apply to harassment which takes place in person. As online interactions, text messaging, email, and social media becomes more and more a part of our everyday life, more and more sexual harassment is occurring digitally. Everyone deserves to be free from sexual harassment at work.

Online Sexual Harassment Can Be Just as Destructive as In-Person Harassment

Traditionally, sexual harassment has consisted of inappropriate and demeaning remarks or behavior at work. However, as digital communication becomes more and more prevalent in workplaces, digital sexual harassment becomes more common. Digital sexual harassment can include sexually-charged or discriminating emails, text messages, forum threads, and social media posts. In Owens v. Morgan Stanley & Co., a New York district court ruled that unchecked offensive e-mail circulating within the workplace could constitute sexual harassment. However, a single inappropriate e-mail is not enough to establish a sexual harassment claim. In Strauss v. Microsoft Corp., the district court deemed jokes and sexual parodies e-mailed by a manager to employees, were evidence of sexual harassment.

What to Do if You Have Experienced Sexual Harassment

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect at work. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, do not hesitate to take action. Your first step should be to start recording instances of harassment. Keeping a sexual harassment log is often the difference between winning a sexual harassment lawsuit and losing one. If you have not already done so, report the harassment according to the procedure outlined in your employee handbook. If your employer does not address the harassment, you may have a claim for compensation. If you reported sexual harassment or discrimination to your employer and were fired as a result, you may have a valid wrongful termination claim.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysTwo technology industry giants have recently made dramatic changes to their sexual harassment policies. Prior to this change, both Google and Facebook required employees to settle sexual harassment claims only through private arbitration. However, Google and Facebook employees will now be able to pursue sexual harassment claims in court.

Google’s announcement that they were changing this policy came after nearly 20,000 employees staged a walkout to protest the way the company manages sexual harassment allegations. Facebook made the change just one day after Google’s announcement. The new sexual harassment policies adopted by Facebook and Google will apply only to sexual harassment or assault claims. The policy does not apply to other types of discrimination complaints. 

Many Believe Forced Arbitration is Unconstitutional

Forced arbitration occurs when employees are required to sign documents in which they agree to settle legal disputes out of court. Instead of having their cases heard by a judge, an arbitrator decides the outcome of the case. Of course, citizens always have the right to arbitrate instead of going to trial. The issue arises when arbitrators are biased or companies choose arbitrators who rarely rule in favor of staff members. Although employees obviously have the option to not work for companies with forced arbitration requirements, many say that the practice is unconstitutional.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysIt is no secret that the majority of people employed in technology jobs are men. The video game development company Riot Games is no different. The company is responsible for the wildly popular game League of Legends and also for organizing eSports tournaments. Recently, the tech company has been accused of significant sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex.

Video Game Developer in Hot Water Over Alleged Gender Bias

Kotaku, a video game website and blog that is part of the Gawker Media network, spoke with 28 former Riot Games employees who had a few very disconcerting things to say about the development company. Several female employees claimed that they had experienced discrimination at the company because they were women. They say that Riot Games regularly overlooked ideas coming from female employees while applauding the same ideas from men. The former employees also spoke of times that a senior female employee would be passed up for a promotion in favor of a male new hire. The women interviewed by Kotaku described the work environment at Riot games as a “bro culture.”

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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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