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Tag Archives: Illinois sexual harassment lawyers

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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Chicago workplace sexual harassment attorneysMcDonald’s restaurants can be found across the globe. The fast food company is arguably one of the most successful businesses in the history of the world. However, the company has also recently become notorious for the sexual harassment claims made against supervisors and employees. Recently, the CEO and president of McDonald’s was terminated after it was discovered that he had violated company policy through a romantic relationship with an employee. His termination highlights the ever-growing importance of professional boundaries in the workplace and reminds us that sexual harassment is still a major issue in the U.S. and around the world.  

Understanding Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

There are two types of sexual harassment recognized by the law: hostile environment sexual harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment. Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when sexual or offensive comments, jokes, or actions make a work environment intolerable. Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase meaning “this for that.” Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a superior trades or attempts to trade sexual interactions for work benefits. For example, a shift manager may imply that a worker will get preferential treatment if he or she accepts the manager’s sexual advances. Quid pro quo sexual harassment can also occur when a superior threatens a negative work consequence if the employee does not accept his or her advances.

Some employees may tolerate unacceptable behavior from a superior because they are afraid of being demoted, transferred, receiving a poor performance review, or fired. It is essential that employees understand that they do not have to tolerate unlawful behavior like this at work.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_hostile-work-environment-claim-form.jpgSexual harassment is a form of sex-based employment discrimination, and it against the law. In general, there are two primary types of workplace sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Both can be damaging to not only the victim’s career but also to their physical and emotional well-being.

“Quid pro quo” is a phrase taken from Latin that means “something for something.” In the context of sexual harassment, it refers to a worker being offered benefits—including continued employment—in exchange for sex-related favors. A manager who promises a raise to a worker if the worker agrees to go on a date with him is probably guilty of quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is often fairly overt and easy to recognize, but this is not always the case with the other type of sexual harassment.

A Hostile Work Environment Can Develop Quietly

Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when the atmosphere in the workplace is such that a reasonable person would find it abusive. A situation may also be considered hostile work environment sexual harassment if the harassment interferes with the victim’s performance of his or her job. This type of harassment is often more subtle than quid pro quo harassment, and the types of behavior involved often give perpetrators what they think is “plausible deniability.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_notebook-log-keeping-records.jpgExperiencing sexual harassment at work can be devastating both personally and professionally. Sadly, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in the United States and elsewhere, even after major strides have been taken to eradicate it. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment reports are up 14 percent as compared to last year.

If you have been harassed or discriminated against at work, you may be completely unsure of where to start. Sexual harassment is against the law, and no one should have to tolerate mistreatment at work. Often, one of the most important steps you can take when you are being sexually harassed is to keep a detailed sexual harassment log.

Keep a Log Even If You Do Not Plan to Pursue Compensation

A detailed record of any sexual harassment you have experienced is valuable even if you do not end up suing your employer. The first step you must take to stop the harassment from continuing is to file a formal sexual harassment complaint with your employer or supervisor. When you report the harassment, make sure to follow any procedures or policies set forth in your employee handbook.

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Illinois sexual harassment lawyersIn previous posts, we have discussed the pervasive trend of sexual harassment in restaurants and bars. Often, employees in restaurants are younger and may have less work experience than employees in other industries. Employees may not know that they have a legal right to be free from harassment and discrimination in the workplace or they may not recognize that certain behaviors are discriminatory. Even if employees do realize that their employer’s or co-worker’s behavior is unacceptable, they may be afraid to report the harassment for fear of retaliation. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, contact a sexual harassment lawyer who can help protect your rights.

Lawsuit Alleges Chili’s Failed to Take Corrective Action Regarding Sexual Harassment

A Colorado Chili's restaurant may have violated federal law by exposing female employees to sexual harassment and retaliation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that both the restaurant's managing partner and the assistant manager continually made sexual and derogatory comments to female servers and hostesses. When employees reported the harassment, no corrective action was taken to stop the harassment. Even worse, the EEOC reports that management reduced the hours of some employees who had complained about the harassment in revenge. This type of retaliatory action is in direct violation of state and federal law including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC has since filed suit against Brinker Restaurant Corporation, Chili's Grill & Bar, and Brinker International Payroll Company, L.P. after attempts to reach a voluntary settlement failed.

Chili’s May Be Forced to Compensate Former Employees

If the lawsuit is successful, Chili's may be forced to provide the affected employees with financial compensation. This compensation could include back wages for the employees who were forced to resign, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The EEOC is also asking the court to order Chili’s to establish policies and procedures that prevent further sexual harassment in the establishment. If you have been sexually harassed at work or if your employer retaliated against you for making a sexual harassment complaint, you should know that there are options available to you to receive compensation.

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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