Why Many Victims of Sexual Harassment Stay Silent
Workplace 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.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a superior at work attempts to gain sexual favors in exchange for workplace benefits or employment. Hostile work environment harassment includes a wide range of discriminatory behaviors. Contrary to popular belief, remarks or conduct do not need to be sexually graphic or overtly sexual in nature in order to be considered sexual harassment. For example, unwanted compliments about ones looks, if ongoing and pervasive could be considered illegal workplace sexual harassment.
Victims May Worry They Will Be Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment
Many people who experience sexual harassment at work stay silent because cannot afford to lose their job. They worry that if they report sexual harassment to their superiors or file a formal complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), they will be fired for making waves. Fortunately, state and federal laws prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports discrimination and sexual harassment. If an employee is fired for reporting sexual harassment, the employee can pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit. Employers are also prohibited from punishing an employee who complains about sexual harassment by reducing their work hours, cutting their pay, limiting work assignments, withholding pay raises or benefits, or otherwise retaliating against them.
Contact a Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Termination Lawyer
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our Wheaton, Illinois sexual harassment attorneys understand the courage it takes to report harassment. That is why we help clients pursue relief for damages related to sexual harassment including financial awards, the restoration of the client’s job, or a change in workplace conditions. To speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable sexual harassment lawyer from our law firm, call 630-665-7300 today.