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DuPage County sexual harassment attorney

Sexual harassment falls into two main categories. The first involves a manager, supervisor, or employer attempting to use his or her position as a means of gaining sexual favors from an applicant or current employee. The other category involves inappropriate actions that create a “hostile work environment.” In order to prove that you have been a victim of hostile work environment sexual harassment according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you and your attorney will need to demonstrate that the harassment was “sufficiently severe or pervasive” to create an abusive workplace. Keeping a sexual harassment log is often the best way to ensure that you have accurate records of harassing incidents or behaviors.  

Record Every Instance of Harassment

A single inappropriate joke or remark most likely will not constitute sexual harassment according to the law. However, an employee should speak up about any statements and behaviors that are disparaging or discriminatory in nature. Even if these actions do not represent sexual harassment in the legal sense, they are still unacceptable. When discriminatory, derogatory, or offensive remarks or behavior become so commonplace that they change the nature of the work environment, the victim may have a valid sexual harassment claim. The best way to ensure that you will have the evidence you need for a sexual harassment complaint is to create a sexual harassment log. In your records, make sure to include information about:

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DuPage County sexual harassment attorney quid pro quo

There are two main categories of sexual harassment under Illinois law: hostile work environment harassment and quid pro quo harassment. A hostile work environment is caused by severe or pervasive remarks and behavior of a sexual, demeaning, or discriminatory nature, which affect a person’s ability to do his or her job. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a person of authority such as a supervisor or boss uses his or her position to gain sexual contact with an employee or job candidate. This unlawful behavior often goes unreported in part due to the general public’s misunderstanding of what quid pro quo actually is and what they can do if they have been a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Requests for Sexual Favors Do Not Have to Be Explicit

Most of the perpetrators of quid pro quo sexual harassment are aware that their behavior is illegal and could potentially cost them their job. Consequently, most employers, supervisors, managers, or other authority figures do not explicitly ask employees for sexual favors. Instead, they imply that the employee would gain some type of benefit if he or she complied with the perpetrator’s offer for romantic or sexual contact. For example, a hiring manager may ask a job candidate out on a date during a job interview and imply that if the prospective employee goes on the date, he or she will have a better chance of getting the job.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysCompanies throughout Illinois and across the country are taking steps to prevent and combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, however, the problem still exists. One of the most devastating effects of sexual harassment at work is that it can make the victim feel isolated, demoralized, and unsure of how to proceed. Some victims assume that ignoring the issue will eventually make it go away, but this is rarely how things work. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, you will need to become your own advocate and tell someone.

Moral Responsibility vs. Legal Responsibility

From a moral standpoint, your employer should conduct business in such a way that makes you feel safe at all times. A case could be made that, morally and ethically, an employer should not tolerate even a single inappropriate comment, pick-up line, or unwanted sexual advance by any of its employees.

Legally, things are much different, at least in most cases. While “quid pro quo” sexual harassment does occur, in which the harasser offers promotions, increased pay, or other favorable treatment in exchange for a “date” or sexual favors, workplace sexual harassment often takes the form of hostile work environment sexual harassment. This type of harassment refers to a repeated, pervasive pattern of behavior that affect the victim’s ability to do his or her job.

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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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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