What Legal Procedures Are Used After Reporting Sexual Harassment?

DuPage County, IL sexual harassment prosecution lawyer

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can significantly affect an employee's work environment, their physical and emotional well-being, and their overall career.

If you have faced sexual harassment at work, it is crucial to understand the legal procedures that should follow after reporting the incident. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these procedures and ensure that your rights are protected.

Company's Response to Sexual Harassment Complaints

Upon receiving a complaint of sexual harassment, a company is legally obligated to follow several key steps to address the issue effectively and lawfully. These include:

  • Investigation: The company should promptly initiate an unbiased and thorough investigation to gather facts about the complaint. Maintaining confidentiality as much as possible during this process is crucial to protect all involved parties.
  • Appropriate action: Based on the findings of the investigation, the company should take appropriate action. This could include requiring sensitivity training for employees, implementing new policies to prevent harassment and discrimination, or taking disciplinary action against the perpetrator.
  • No retaliation: Federal and state laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. A company must ensure that the person who made the complaint and witnesses are not subjected to any form of retaliation.

Steps to Prevent Future Harassment

Proactive measures are essential in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Companies can implement several strategies to create a safer environment:

  • Comprehensive training: Regular training sessions should be provided by employers to educate employees about what constitutes sexual harassment and the consequences of such behavior. Illinois law requires employers in the state to provide annual sexual harassment training for all employees.
  • Clear policies: Employers should establish or update anti-harassment policies that clearly communicate zero tolerance for any forms of sexual harassment and the steps for reporting incidents.
  • Open communication: An employer should encourage an open-door policy where employees feel safe to discuss their concerns about sexual harassment without fear of retaliation.

Employee's Options and Legal Rights

Employees have multiple options if they face sexual harassment or if their employer fails to handle a complaint properly:

  • Internal complaint: After encountering sexual harassment, an employee should follow the company's internal procedures for reporting incidents. Documentation of complaints, communications between the parties, and statements from witnesses can be vital in these situations.
  • Legal complaint: If the company does not respond appropriately, or if retaliation occurs, an employee can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), which in Illinois will automatically be crossed filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The IDHR will investigate the complaint and determine whether further action is necessary.
  • Private lawsuit: If the IDHR processes des not resolve the issue, if sexual harassment continues, or if an employee is wrongfully terminated or experiences other forms of retaliation, a lawsuit may be filed against the employer and/or the perpetrator of sexual harassment. Securing an experienced attorney form the beginning can make sure the proper procedures will be followed and can take steps to protect the employee’s rights and advocate for appropriate forms of relief.

Contact Our Wheaton, IL Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorneys

At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., our DuPage County, IL sexual harassment lawyers can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to address workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, or other related employment issues. We can help you present a strong, evidence-backed case, advocating for your rights and ensuring that the sexual harassment you have experienced will be addressed correctly. To set up a consultation and get the legal help you need, please contact us at 630-665-7300.

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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