wheaton sexual harassment lawyerFederal and state laws protect employees from discrimination based on sex. This includes protection from sexual harassment. However, perpetrators of sexual harassment still exist. Men and women in any type of profession may find themselves the victims of hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment.

If you have been sexually harassed, one of the most important steps you can take to protect your rights is to document the harassment carefully – especially if the harassment falls under the category of hostile work environment harassment. Creating a sexual harassment log that details the instances of harassment can be invaluable whether or not the situation leads to a sexual harassment claim.

Severe and Pervasive Sexual Harassment

A single minor incident of inappropriate behavior may not constitute sexual harassment, but that can quickly change. Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), illegal harassment occurs when either:

  • Conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a threatening, hostile, or abusive working environment or
  • Employees are forced to tolerate the harassment as a condition of employment.

Jokes, offensive statements, or inappropriate questions may rise to the level of hostile work environment sexual harassment if ongoing and repeated. This is one reason it is important to keep a sexual harassment log.

Write Down These Details If You Were Sexually Harassed  

The emotionally-charged nature of the offense can make it hard to recount sexual harassment incidents to report the harassment or file a claim. It is always a good idea to keep a detailed record of every incidence of sexual harassment for exactly this reason. Make sure to write down:

  • What was said and by whom
  • Any physical actions or gestures that were made
  • Who perpetuated the harassment
  • Who witnessed the harassment
  • The victim of the harassment
  • The date, time, and location of the harassment

If you report sexual harassment to the appropriate party, usually a human resources person, and nothing is done to prevent further harassment, the next step is to contact an attorney who can help file a claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and the EEOC. If you are issued a “right to sue” notice, you will have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. You may be entitled to damages.

Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer

If you were sexually harassed at work, contact our Wheaton sexual harassment attorney for legal support and guidance. You do not have to face this alone. Call MKFM Law today at 630-665-7300 and set up your confidential consultation.