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Tag Archives: Illinois Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Illinois sexual harassment lawyersEveryone deserves the right to feel safe and be free from harassment when they are at work. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in the United States and around the world.

Sexual harassment, as it is defined by the law, includes “hostile work environment” harassment and “quid pro quo” harassment. When sex-based remarks, jokes, and other derogatory behavior make a work environment intolerable for employees, this is considered a hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment most often involves a superior attempting to garner sexual favors in exchange for work benefits. Employees are protected from both types of harassment by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as various state and local laws. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, it is imperative that you report the harassment. Waiting to file a complaint about sexual harassment can significantly decrease the likelihood that you will receive compensation for damages.

Do Not Make the Mistake of Staying Silent About Harassment or Discrimination

Laws exists to protect employees from both harassment and retaliation. If you have been harassed, but fear reporting it because your employer will retaliate against you, you should know that the law is on your side. Victims of sexual harassment should carefully record any instances of harassing behavior they are subjected to and save copies of harassing emails or text messages. Next, they must follow the procedure outlined in their company’s employee handbook for reporting sexual harassment. If the employer does not resolve the situation, further legal action can be taken. A claimant, or person bringing a claim, can file a sexual harassment civil suit to recover financial compensation for damages like lost wages or back pay.

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Chicago sexual harassment lawyerYou probably hear the words “sexual harassment” more often today than you have in decades. The recent outpouring of activism and support for victims of sexual harassment has been deeply meaningful to millions. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of confusion surrounding sexual harassment law and what behavior is considered sexual harassment. The following are the most common misconceptions about sexual harassment.

Myth 1: Sexual Harassment is Synonymous with Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Abuse

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what different sex crimes are called. This is partially due to some phrases being used casually and partially due to variances between different states’ terminology. Sexual harassment, as it pertains to the law, can only happen in a work or school environment. A construction worker who catcalls a passerby may be acting in an unacceptable way, but this is not technically sexual harassment.

Myth 2: Only Women Are Victims of Sexual Harassment

Recently, singer Mariah Carey settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with her former manager, who is also a woman. The former manager alleged that Carey was often nude around her and that she felt uncomfortable. This is just one of many sexual lawsuits brought against women every year. Both men and women can be victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment.

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Illinois workplace sexual harassment lawyerOver the last year, national news headlines have been dominated by one story after the next about allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other types of inappropriate sexual behavior. While they have different names depending on the jurisdiction, sexual assault and other types of unwelcome sexual contact are criminal acts. Sexual harassment, however, is a different story. By law, sexual harassment is a form of sex-based employment discrimination. While it is still illegal, it is a matter that is handled through state and federal agencies, as well as the civil court system.

Because it is an employment-related matter, sexual harassment is also somewhat easier to recognize and address than acts of sexual violence often are. Sexual harassment can even be prevented and avoided if those who work together are willing to have open and honest conversations about the topic. Depending on where you work, management may be willing to facilitate such discussion. If a formal meeting is not feasible, consider opening lines of communication with your coworkers on your own—regardless of your gender or your previous experience with sexual harassment.

Men and Women Must Communicate

In many cases, sexual harassment is the manifestation of a power struggle. For example, men who have worked with only other men for many years may feel threatened—even subconsciously—by the introduction of a female coworker. Similarly, a person in a managerial position may get a thrill out of flirting or making sexual advances toward a subordinate as a result of the power differential. However, sexual harassment can also occur due to the differences in the perspectives of men and women.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment in the workplace has never been a more hotly-debated topic. There have been laws against inappropriate sexual behavior at work for decades. Discrimination on the basis of sex has been against the law in the U.S since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. However, many instances of sexual harassment have gone unchecked throughout the years, and many people’s lives have been negatively affected as a result.

Last year, the nation was taken by storm by the viral Twitter hashtag #MeToo as thousands of men and women shared their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault. During this time of controversy and change, it can be hard to know exactly what actions are acceptable at work and what are not. For example, should you date a co-worker? There are no easy answers, but there are some things you should keep in mind regarding romantic relationships at work.

Dating at Work When There Is a Power Differential Between the Employees

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysFor many people, professional sports cheerleaders present an ethical dilemma. On one hand, the women who are a part of professional cheerleading teams are generally independent and empowered, and they voluntarily sign up for a high-profile role within the specific organization. On the other hand, arguably professional sports cheerleaders use their physical appearance, charisma, and sex appeal to promote the team under which they are employed.

As with any profession that involves sex appeal, there are likely to be instances where cheerleaders may be placed in uncomfortable situations, some of which may even rise to the level of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. A recent report suggests that this may have been the case for members of the Washington Redskins cheerleading team during a trip to Costa Rica in 2013.

Unexpected Spectators and More

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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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