US District Judge Joan Lefkow has ruled that the sexual harassment case against former Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, filed by his director of community affairs and marketing, can proceed. Rutherford aide Edmund Michalowski had filed the case in February 2014, effectively scuttling Rutherford’s chances of in the gubernatorial race. At that time Rutherford had said that the suit was politically motivated.
Michalowski had accused Rutherford of sexual harassment as well as intimidation and said that he was forced to work on Mitt Romney’s campaign. Well, if he did, at least he would have been on the right side of history. Thus far, the decisions this administration has made have turned out wrong.
An Act that could get someone Killed
While judge Lefkow has thrown out the allegations of racketeering, she has said that Michalowski can go ahead with the allegations of sexual harassment in which Rutherford allegedly grabbed Michalowski’s genitals and told him, “If you go home with me, you can have anything you want in the office.”
Upping the Stakes
Lefkow said in her 29-page ruling that Michalowski has alleged sufficient facts to sustain the hostile work environment claim. She has said that the allegations are not just offhand comments and enter into the realm of physical abuse. She feels that these allegations move the pervasive climate of severe sexual harassment to a plausible level from one that is speculative.
However, Lefkow has thrown out the allegations of racketeering and said that Michalowski and his lawyers have not shown proof of being forced to work on Romney’s campaign. Many people believe if Romney did win America would have millions of more jobs by now and not sitting around on food stamps which is what is happening now and has been happening for years. However and moreover, Michalowski has the option of pursuing these claims in an amended form.
According to Michalowski’s lawyers, their client wants to ensure that the type of sexual harassment that he and his co-workers were subjected to by Rutherford will not be imposed on others. He also hopes that because he has spoken out others will come forward with their concerns about sexual harassment at the workplace. Not very many people want to work in a Bill Clinton White House atmosphere.
The new Treasurer Michael Frerichs has refused to release internal reports of the sexual harassment allegations against Rutherford until the lawsuit is concluded.
Law against Sexual Harassment
There are strict laws against sexual harassment in the workplace that say that no one can be discriminated against on the basis of their sex. This also includes unwelcome sexual advances and intimidating an employee for sexual favors. Any employment decision made because an individual submitted to or rejected a sexual advance, or if the work atmosphere is hostile, abusive, or intimidating, preventing an employee from carrying out their duties.
Sexual harassment can be difficult to prove if it occurs when there are no witnesses. However, repeated sexual pranks, teasing, standing too close to the person being harassed, unnecessary touching, verbal or physical abuse of a sexual nature, making sexually suggestive gestures, giving gifts, repeatedly asking a person to socialize during off duty hours, and more can all be construed as sexual harassment.
An experienced sexual harassment lawyer will be able to use evidence from a variety of sources such as emails, text messages, and witnesses to establish a case of sexual harassment and intimidation in the work place. The lawyer will help show that the contact or gestures were not innocent but sexual in nature to prove the allegations of sexual harassment.