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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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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment can make a workplace unbearable. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you know just how demeaning this particular type of harassment can be. Sexual harassment can consist of disparaging or offensive remarks about a person’s gender, unwanted sexual advances, and sexually-oriented behavior. Sexual harassment also occurs when a supervisor attempts to exchange sexual favors for employment benefits with a subordinate. One of the most important steps for anyone who has experienced sexual harassment is to keep a detailed record of each instance of harassment. This sexual harassment log will almost certainly be beneficial for recalling the details of the sexual harassment you have suffered for the purposes of filing a Charge or reporting the sexual harassment to the Illinois Department of Human Rights and/or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Proving that Harassment is Severe or Pervasive

There are two types of sexual harassment that are explicitly prohibited under state and federal law: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a worker attempts to trade continued employment, a wage increase, or other work benefits for sexual favors. According to the law, even one instance of quid pro quo harassment is illegal. On the other hand, hostile work environment harassment must be “severe or pervasive” enough that it creates an abusive working environment. A single joke from a colleague about how your outfit flatters your body might be inappropriate but it would not likely be considered illegal sexual harassment. However, if this colleague makes sexual statements like these again and again, the problem may meet the legal criteria for sexual harassment.

What Should I Include in My Log?

In your sexual harassment log, write down every instance that something was said or done to you that made you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. This can include sexual or derogatory jokes, statements, text messages, emails, and behavior. Even if you are not sure whether or not the remark or behavior was technically an instance of sexual harassment, write it down anyway. Note the time and location of each instance. You should also record who witnessed the harassment and what your reaction to the harassment was.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysSexual harassment can be devastating for those victimized by it. If you are being treated inappropriately at work, you may feel embarrassed, helpless, angry, and unsure of how to respond. First and foremost, you should know that sexual harassment is never acceptable and that every person, regardless of gender or status, deserves to feel safe at work. If you are currently being sexually harassed, it is critical that you document every instance of harassment.

Sexual Harassment is Against the Law

Although some perpetrators claim otherwise, sexual harassment is against both local and federal law. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination or harassment due to a person's sex. There are two types of sexual harassment according to the law. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a superior encourages an employee to trade sexual favors for workplace perks or continued employment. Hostile workplace harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, sexually-charged and offensive remarks, and inappropriate physical contact. In order to be considered illegal harassment, hostile workplace sexual harassment must be severe or pervasive enough to make the victim unable to complete his or her work.

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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