Several high-ranking supervisors and co-workers of a man who was sexually harassed by a prisoner made the news when, instead of helping their co-worker handle the incident appropriately, they decided to harass him further. Making matters worse, this took place in an Illinois correctional center, making a government agency responsible for providing an appropriate response to the sexual harassment. Several people were fired when the incident came to light, and further stories of sexual harassment in the Illinois prison system have now also come out.
The kind of behavior in this particular incident – inappropriate “pranks” and other jokes laden with sexual innuendo – can make going to work miserable, especially in an environment that can be challenging already, such as a prison or other dangerous or high-pressure work environment. If you are suffering from sexual harassment at work, know that you have options. Contact a DuPage County sexual harassment attorney now.
Am I Experiencing Sexual Harassment?
People often fail to report or take further action against obnoxious behaviors at work because they are not sure whether the treatment they are receiving rises to the level of sexual harassment. But behavior that can be considered sexual harassment under Illinois law goes beyond inappropriate touching or explicit comments and can also include:
- Sexually suggestive comments, even about other people
- Sexually suggestive emails, gestures, or photos
- Unwanted compliments about appearance, including dress or hair
- Unwanted comments about someone’s partner, including their sex life or relationship
- Repetitive requests for dates
The above actions if ongoing and pervasive may constitute a hostile work environment, which is one type of sexual harassment. Of course, explicit or implied offers or threats of workplace demotion or promotion in exchange for sexual behavior are totally inappropriate and illegal, and make up the other type of sexual harassment – quid pro quo. Any request or demand of sexual favors in exchange for anything at work, including actions taken outside the workplace (like making rental payments or buying jewelry) is extreme sexual harassment and needs to be handled right away.
Can I Sue My Employer?
To prove a claim of sexual harassment against your employer in court, you will need to show the following took place:
- You were the victim of unwelcome sexual harassment
- This harassment was based on your sex
- The harassment was bad enough to make your workplace hostile and abusive
- The employer is liable for getting the behavior under control and did not
Gathering evidence of sexual harassment at work and proving your case against your employer may be the last thing you want to do. This is where an attorney can help.
Contact an Illinois Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Being sexually harassed at work can make everyday living a nightmare. If you need legal advice for any reason related to workplace sexual harassment, seek assistance from the Wheaton, IL sexual harassment attorneys at MKFM. We are here to help you in any way we can. Call 630-665-7300 today and schedule a confidential consultation.