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DuPage County wrongful termination attorney sexual harassment

Sexual harassment may involve inappropriate, demeaning, or sexually explicit speech and actions at work. It may also involve an employer, supervisor, manager, or another person of authority using his or her position to solicit sexual contact from applicants or employees. Whether it is hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment, sexual harassment violates federal, state, and local laws.

Discrimination and harassment are not only immoral, but they can also cost victims their livelihoods. If you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may be considering filing a sexual harassment lawsuit and pursuing compensation for your damages. The exact amount you can gain from a successful sexual harassment claim varies significantly depending on the facts of the case and the type of harm caused by the harassment.

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DuPage County sexual harassment attorney

Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment at work will tell you that it takes a great deal of courage to report the harassment. Victims of discrimination or harassment may worry that their supervisors and colleagues will not believe them or even resent them for reporting the unlawful mistreatment. An even greater fear is that reporting sexual harassment will get them demoted or fired. Fortunately, Illinois law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file sexual harassment complaints. However, recognizing the actions or behaviors that may be considered retaliation is not always easy.  

Understanding Sexual Harassment Laws

Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination prohibited by The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and several other federal and state laws. A worker creates a hostile work environment when he or she repeatedly makes derogatory comments, remarks, or jokes about a person’s body, sexuality, or gender. Displaying sexually explicit material in the workplace, making repeated unwanted sexual advances, and touching others without consent may also be considered sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a person of authority trading sexual contact for work-related benefits or continued employment. If you have been a victim of hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment, you have a legal right to report this harassment. Your employer is required to address the harassment and ensure that it does not continue to happen.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stop-retaliation-sexual-harassment-whistleblower.jpgMost people know that sexual harassment is against the law. However, many do not realize that it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting sexual harassment. Retaliation can take many different forms, but most involve the employee receiving some type of negative work-related consequence. If an employer retaliates against an employee for filing a sexual harassment complaint, the employee may be entitled to damages. 

You Have a Right to Oppose Unlawful Practices

Equal Employment Opportunity laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report EEO violations. It is unlawful for an employer to take adverse action against a job applicant or employee who:

  • Complains or threatens to complain about sexual harassment or discrimination
  • Refuses to follow an order that is reasonably thought to be discriminatory
  • Gathers information or evidence from coworkers about a potential EEO claim or
  • Participates in an investigation into alleged sexual harassment or discrimination

When someone is the victim of sexual harassment, including hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment, he or she has a legal right to report the harassment. Whether it is a verbal complaint or a formal report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reporting sexual harassment is a protected act.

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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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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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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree