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Sexual Harassment in Illinois
Illinois law defines sexual harassment as “unwanted, deliberate, or repeated sexual behavior,” which can include anything from jokes to inappropriate touching to sexual assault. In order for a person’s actions to be classified as sexual harassment, the victim must make sure to tell the harasser that their behaviors are unwelcome and must tell them to immediately stop. unfortunately, most harassers don’t take “no” for an answer and it is up to the victim or a co-worker to ensure that the harassment stops by letting a supervisor or lawyer handle the case.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in Illinois
Sexual harassment can take many forms, but the main thing to remember is that the action is unwanted. The following are some examples of common sexual harassment behaviors in Illinois: Verbal or written harassment: Includes comments about a person’s body, clothing, behavior, sex life, or any joke that is lewd and offensive. Verbal and/or written harassment may also involve quid pro quo (this for that) requests in which the offender offers the victim a bribe, raise, or other benefit in exchange for sexual favors. In addition, this type of sexual harassment can include repeatedly asking a person out on a date, spreading sexual rumors about an individual or making threats against a victim. Physical harassment: Involves any inappropriate touching of a person, such as hugging, kissing or fondling, blocking an individual’s path, assault, rape or attempt at rape. Nonverbal harassment: Includes looking at a victim’s body up and down, making obscene or derogatory gestures or facial expressions, or stalking. Visual harassment: Involves putting up pictures, posters, or any other material that is sexual in nature and offensive.
Victims of Sexual Harassment
Anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment. Despite popular belief that the victim is usually a woman and the harasser is always a man, people of any gender, age, race or sexual orientation can be the victims of sexual harassment. In addition, victims do not have to be directly affected by a perpetrator’s actions or comments. A victim may be a co-worker who finds someone else’s conducted or comments inappropriate and offensive.
Filing a Sexual Harassment Complaint
The state of Illinois takes sexual harassment claims very seriously and ensures that victims’ rights are upheld. Anyone who has been the target of sexual discrimination in Illinois should turn to the Illinois Human Rights Division (IDHR). The IDHR provides victims of sexual harassment with free legal support and information on the steps victims should take if they feel they have been harassed. Victims should first inform the offender that their actions are unwanted or offensive and that they would like the behaviors to stop immediately. If the harasser continues with their conduct, victims may file a formal complaint with the IDHR office within 180 days of the harassment incident. The IDHR will them begin an investigation of the complaint. If sufficient evidence is found of any wrongdoing, the IDHR will file a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC), who will then run their own investigation and most likely conduct a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge who is authorized to determine a decision and if any damages should be awarded to the victim.
Hiring a Sexual Harassment Attorney
In addition to working with the IDHR and the IHRC, victims may also solicit the help of a leading sexual harassment lawyer in Illinois to help them fight for their rights. Victims may be entitled to a large sum of money for their pain and suffering and sexual harassment attorneys make it their mission to ensure that victims receive their maximum possible compensation. With the assistance of a sexual harassment lawyer, the offender will be put to justice. Paralegals take the time to investigate the allegations and if anyone is found guilty of sexually offensive conduct, they will be held liable for their crimes. When a sexual harassment attorney is working on a case, victims can rest assured that their workplace will be free from hostility and aggression. Sexual offenders generally do not stop hurting victims until legal action is taken against them. If you or someone you know has been harassed at work, don’t wait until matters escalate or become violent in order to seek help. Contact a leading team of sexual harassment lawyers in Illinois right away to file a claim and protect the victim’s rights. Our sexual harassment attorneys in the state will not rest until your case is resolved and your assailant pays for their crimes. Call today to schedule a meeting with one of our paralegals for more information and to get started on your case.