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How Do I File a Sexual Harassment Complaint in Rolling Meadows, IL?

— June 9, 2022

When you file an internal complaint, the employer is required to investigate your claims promptly and inform you of their findings, including the remedial measures they’ve taken.

Rolling Meadows, IL – Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination and, as such, it is illegal under the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and the corresponding federal Civil Rights Act, Title VII. While the federal law protects the rights of people working in businesses with at least 15 employees, the IHRA has been expanded to include employers with one or more employees. Accordingly, no matter where you work in the state of Illinois you don’t have to put up with any form of sexual harassment. If you’re experiencing workplace discrimination, you have several ways of filing a complaint. As a first step, you should contact a good sexual harassment lawyer in Rolling Meadows to see if you have a case and to understand your options.

What constitutes sexual harassment in Rolling Meadows, IL?

Sexual harassment cases fall into two categories, quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo refers to those situations when submitting to the supervisor’s or employer’s requests for sexual favors is made, implicitly or explicitly, a condition of employment. If your boss asks or suggests that you have sex with them in return for a promotion or under threat of termination, you have a quid pro quo case and an experienced Illinois sexual harassment lawyer can help put an end to the nightmare.

Hostile work environment is a term used for those situations when you are harassed by one or more coworkers. The harassment can be of three types:

  • Verbal (sexual jokes, lewd comments, questions about your sex life, use of derogatory terms for women, etc)
  • Visual (displays of sexually-suggestive pictures, posters, drawings or cartoons around the office)
  • Physical (any unwanted physical touch, unrequired massages or forced kissing)

    Person at computer with Pornhub Website on screen
    Person at computer with Pornhub Website on screen; image courtesy of Franco Alva via Unsplash,

How do I file a sexual harassment complaint?

As of 2020, all employers in the state of Illinois are required to provide sexual harassment training to their employees. In certain establishments, such as restaurants or bars, the employers must have a written sexual harassment policy detailing what constitutes sex-based discrimination, the complaint mechanism and the consequences for those employees who fail to meet company standards.

If the place you work in doesn’t have a written policy, you should complain to your direct supervisor, employer or someone in the HR department. What you need to keep in mind is that, in order to have a case, you have to be able to prove you did not welcome the sexually-charged behavior. For instance, you need to tell anyone harassing you that their behavior is offensive to you and ask them to stop. 

When you file an internal complaint, the employer is required to investigate your claims promptly and inform you of their findings, including the remedial measures they’ve taken. If your employer ignores your complaint, sides with your harasser or retaliates against you, you have all the right to file a formal complaint with state or federal authorities.

Your sexual harassment lawyers will advise you whether to file a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Both entities have the power to investigate the claims and offer to negotiate between you and your employer. You can expect your employer to get a lawyer at this stage so you should make sure to be represented by a knowledgeable attorney as well. You can be awarded damages for your emotional suffering as well as for the lost wages, if you were fired or forced to quit.

If an agreement cannot be reached, your lawyers will help you file a sexual harassment lawsuit. 

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