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Tag Archives: Illinois Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Illinois sexual harassmentThe term sexual harassment often garners a strong response, but it is often misunderstood. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other federal and state legislation, it is unlawful for employees to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. Sexual harassment is one type of sex-based discrimination millions of men and women face every year. Sadly, many victims stay silent about harassment simply because they do not understand their rights.

There are a number of common misconceptions that exist regarding sexual harassment including:

Myth 1: Only Women Can Be Victims of Sexual Harassment

Although women experience sexual harassment on a more frequent basis, men can also be sexually harassed. In fact, about one out of every five sexual harassment complaints reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are filed by men. Men may suffer sexual harassment from both female and male harassers. Many men are hesitant about reporting the harassment because they fear they will not be believed, or they do not realize that the law protects both genders from this unacceptable mistreatment.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysIn 1964, congress passed the Civil Rights Act which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, religion, national origin, or race. In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) specified that sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act. Although workplace sexual harassment has been against the law for 30 years, many believe that the issue has never been taken as seriously as is has in recent years. Spurred by the social media #MeToo movement and a number of other events, more and more women and men are coming forward and reporting sexual harassment. Now, one of the biggest companies in the world is facing a major lawsuit regarding alleged systemic sexual harassment.

Workers Claim McDonald’s Does Not Take Enough Action to Address Sexual Harassment

Recently, McDonald’s staff in Florida announced that they were filing a $500 million sexual harassment lawsuit against the fast food chain. The two women named in the lawsuit have filed the suit on behalf of the 5,000 women who work at the Florida restaurants. They claim that many staff are subject to sexual and derogatory comments, jokes, and even physical assaults.

One of the women explained that she had been forced to endure rude comments about her body, unwanted sexual contact, and explicit pictures while she was simply trying to do her job. When she reported her coworkers’ unacceptable behavior, she claims that her work hours were reduced and that she was eventually fired.

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Wheaton sexual harassment attorneysWhen most people think about workplace sexual harassment, they assume that the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is a male in a higher-ranking position. Although this situation does describe a great number of sexual harassment cases, this is not the only type of sexual harassment that exists. Men can also be victims of sexual harassment at the hands of both women and other men.

In one survey, 10 percent of male respondents reported having been sexually harassed at work. Furthermore, almost one out of every five sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are filed by men. Although men and women receive equal protection under the law against workplace sexual harassment, male sexual harassment victims often face different obstacles than female victims do.

Men May Hesitate to Report Sexual Harassment Due to Fears About Being Taken Seriously

In the movie “Horrible Bosses,” Jennifer Aniston plays an aggressive and exceedingly sexually-forward dentist. Throughout the movie, she repeatedly attempts to convince her male dental hygienist to have sexual relations with her—even going so far as grabbing the hygienist’s genitals against his will in one scene and locking him in a room with her in another scene. Although this comedy received positive reviews, many people have suggested that the audience would not have reacted the same way to this harassing behavior if the perpetrator was the male character and the female was the victim.

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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 attorneysWorkplace sexual harassment is an illegal form of discrimination prohibited by both federal and state law. It can take the form of offensive sexual or gender-based remarks and behavior, or sexual harassment can involve a person in a position of authority wielding this power for sexual gain. We most often think of sexual harassment victims as being those who are lower on the corporate ladder, but this is not always the case. A recent study suggests that women who have manager or supervisor positions may actually be more likely to experience sexual harassment than other employees.

Women Who Supervise Men May Experience Sexual Harassment More Frequently

Since the #MeToo movement began in earnest a couple years ago, more and more people are talking about sexual harassment in the workplace. For too long, the issue of workplace discrimination was considered taboo. Now, as victims of sexual harassment are speaking up about their mistreatment, an increasing number of employers are taking steps to prevent and address sexual harassment in their businesses. Additionally, more research is being conducted to help understand how and why sexual harassment occurs.

One recent study conducted by the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University analyzed the relationship between leadership roles and sexual harassment in the United States, Sweden, and Japan. Contrary to what one might assume, the study found that women supervisors were actually more likely to suffer from harassment than women employees. Women who held leadership positions over men were the most likely to respond that they had been sexually harassed in the past year.

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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