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Illinois sexual harassmentThe term sexual harassment often garners a strong response, but it is often misunderstood. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other federal and state legislation, it is unlawful for employees to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. Sexual harassment is one type of sex-based discrimination millions of men and women face every year. Sadly, many victims stay silent about harassment simply because they do not understand their rights.

There are a number of common misconceptions that exist regarding sexual harassment including:

Myth 1: Only Women Can Be Victims of Sexual Harassment

Although women experience sexual harassment on a more frequent basis, men can also be sexually harassed. In fact, about one out of every five sexual harassment complaints reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are filed by men. Men may suffer sexual harassment from both female and male harassers. Many men are hesitant about reporting the harassment because they fear they will not be believed, or they do not realize that the law protects both genders from this unacceptable mistreatment.

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Illinois workplace discrimination attorneysWorkplace sexual harassment can be a tremendously stressful ordeal to endure. Not only do victims have to deal with the humiliation and tension caused by the actual harassment, they must also face the nerve-racking decision of whether or not to report the harassment. Some may wonder why a victim of sexual harassment would tolerate this unlawful mistreatment in lieu of filing a sexual harassment report. However, there are many reasons that victims of sexual harassment remain silent or refuse to come forward.

If you are being sexually harassed at work, you should know that you do not have to face the issue alone. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you with everything from filing a report to seeking financial compensation for a wrongful termination.

Victims May Not Know What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

There are many misconceptions about what the term “sexual harassment” means. Some people mistakenly assume that only physical interactions constitute sexual harassment or that digital harassment “does not count” as harassment. In reality, any inappropriate behavior or language that is related to a person’s sex, gender, or physicality may be considered sexual harassment.

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Illinois sexual harassment attorneysAccording to a recent study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, up to 95 percent of workplace sexual harassment victims never file a formal complaint. Considering that thousands of formal complaints are filed every year, this means countless other victims suffer silently. If that number sounds outrageously high, take a look at the posts that have been flooding Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets in recent weeks. Chances are good that you will find countless examples of sexual harassment and assault that have gone unreported before now—many of them from family members and others in your social circles.

Such posts were prompted, in large part, by a single tweet from actress Alyssa Milano who expressed her feelings in the wake of accusations against famed film producer Harvey Weinstein. In her Twitter post, Milano encouraged women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed to reply, “Me too.” Within hours, the responses began to flood social media, and Milano herself replied to her own post with a “Me too.” Women from all walks of life—including numerous other high-profile actresses and entertainers—started sharing their stories of sexual harassment, most of them marked with the trend-tracking hashtag #MeToo.

An Unintentional Revival

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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