Tag Archives: sexual harassment in the workplace

DuPage County sexual harassment attorney workplace discrimination

By now, most people are fully aware that sexual harassment is a type of workplace discrimination that should not be tolerated. When it becomes public knowledge that a company or employer allowed such harassment to continue, that company is often the subject of public scrutiny and boycotts in addition to claims for damages by the victims in question. But, what about the victims themselves? Unfortunately, being a victim of sexual harassment can cause a variety of health issues that could last for many years to come.

Mental Health Concerns

The laws that address sexual harassment in the United States are primarily focused on the responsibility of employers to prevent, identify, and address instances of sexual harassment as a form of employment discrimination. The reality, however, is that the behaviors that constitute sexual harassment are actually forms of physical or emotional abuse. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that sexual harassment victims often suffer serious mental health effects.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysIf you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, you may have the opportunity to receive compensation for damages. Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination protected against by both federal law as well as Illinois state law. Hostile work environment harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unsolicited sexual advances, antagonistic behavior, or disparaging remarks about his or her gender which negatively affect the employee’s ability to do his or her job. Quid pro quo sexual harassment refers to instances when a person of authority such as a boss or manager attempts to use his or her authority to gain sexual favors from subordinates. For some victims of workplace sexual harassment, filing a discrimination claim allows them to hold their employer accountable for wrongdoing and receive compensation for damages.

Types of Damages Available for Financial Compensation

In the context of an employment discrimination claim, the term “damages” refers to harm caused by the discriminating or harassing behavior. The amount of compensation a claimant can be awarded for sexual harassment is dependent on the damages he or she incurred. Damages in a sexual harassment claim most often include compensation for lost wages and missed career opportunities. Sometimes, compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, called compensatory damages, is awarded as well. Punitive damages are the least common type of damages addressed in sexual harassment claims and are designed to “punish” the employer for failing to address severe harassment or discrimination.

You May Be Entitled to Back Pay

Sexual harassment is not only humiliating and demeaning but it can also leave victims in financial distress. Victims of sexual harassment who were given fewer hours, paid less, denied a raise or promotion, or were fired as a result of sexual harassment, are often entitled to back pay. Back pay refers to the benefits an employee would have received if not for the sexual harassment. Back pay generally includes compensation for:

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