DuPage County, IL sexual harassment lawyer

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can have devastating effects on victims. It can create a toxic work environment that affects multiple people, and if it is not addressed properly, it can continue to affect victims and bystanders. Companies have a legal obligation to prevent sexual harassment, and they should be prepared to respond effectively if it occurs. People who have experienced sexual harassment will need to understand how to respond when employers fail to address these issues correctly. An experienced attorney can help address these issues and ensure that victims are able to address the harm they have suffered due to sexual harassment.

Implementing Effective Sexual Harassment Policies

The first step a business should take to protect employees against sexual harassment is to have a clear, comprehensive policy in place. This policy should:

  • Define sexual harassment: Employees should clearly understand what constitutes sexual harassment, including examples of both quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment.
  • Implement a zero-tolerance policy: An employer should state unequivocally that sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable and that people who engage in harassment will face consequences.
  • Include reporting procedures: A policy should include detailed procedures for reporting harassment, ensuring that employees who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment will feel safe coming forward.

Training and Education

Training for employees and management is crucial in preventing sexual harassment. In fact, annual sexual harassment prevention training is required by Illinois law. Training programs should ensure that employees can recognize, prevent, and report sexual harassment. Additional training may be provided for managers and supervisors to ensure that they understand how to handle complaints and maintain a harassment-free workplace. Continuous education programs can ensure that employees are always fully informed about their rights and how they can respond when addressing workplace sexual harassment.

Creating a Safe Reporting Environment

Employees must feel safe and supported when reporting sexual harassment. Companies can foster a safe reporting environment through:

  • Confidentiality: All reports of sexual harassment should be handled privately and confidentially to ensure that victims feel safe coming forward.
  • Non-retaliation policy: A company should establish and enforce a strict policy to protect employees who report harassment from retaliation in any form, including penalties in the workplace, unequal treatment from supervisors or other employees, or wrongful termination.
  • Support systems: An employer can help address the effects of sexual harassment by providing access to counseling and support services for victims.

Investigating Complaints Thoroughly

When employees report sexual harassment, it is vital for a company to investigate the situation promptly and thoroughly. Complaints should be addressed immediately to prevent any further instances of harassment. Investigations should be conducted by people who are impartial and who do not have an ongoing relationship with the victim or the alleged harasser. If necessary, third-party investigators may be used to ensure fairness. A company should take appropriate disciplinary action against perpetrators and make necessary changes to workplace policies or procedures to prevent future incidents.

Regular Review and Improvement

Companies should regularly review and improve their policies and practices, making updates as necessary to reflect changes in the law and ensure that complaints can be addressed effectively. They can also seek feedback from employees and commit to continuous improvement of the work environment to ensure that everyone will be treated with respect and dignity.

Contact Our DuPage County, IL Sexual Harassment Attorneys

When employers fail to take the proper steps to prevent sexual harassment or respond to complaints from employees, victims need to understand their legal options. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., our Wheaton sexual harassment lawyers provide legal help and representation in these situations. We help victims protect their rights and address unfair treatment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or other forms of harm they have suffered. To learn how we can help address sexual harassment and employment discrimination, contact our office at 630-665-7300 and schedule a consultation.