Sexual harassment encompasses any deliberate and unwanted sexual behavior. It can take on the form of suggestive emails, text messages, pictures, signs and actions that you feel are inappropriate in nature. Sex discrimination at work in Illinois can take the form of conditions that you have to fulfill in order to get a promotion, which is contingent on the submission to a sexual behavior.
Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Laws in Illinois
The Illinois Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender or sex and this includes sexual harassment. In other words, employers cannot treat an employee or applicant less favorably because of their gender. This involves any aspect of employment from promotions and layoffs to benefits and assignments.
As a consequence, a claimant may also complain about unequal pay on the basis of gender as per the Equal Pay Act. Additionally, as per the amended Title VII pertaining to pregnancy discrimination, any act that discriminates against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, child birth or any other related medical condition can also be sued and asked to pay compensation.
Besides discrimination on the basis of gender, sex discrimination at work in Illinois can take on forms such as the following:
- Asking an employee about their sex life.
- Making sexual jokes.
- Repeatedly complimenting an employee’s appearance.
- Leaving unwanted gifts of a romantic or sexual nature.
- Unwanted physical contact.
- Making offensive comments repeatedly.
- Spreading rumors about an employee that are of a sexual nature.
To qualify as a hostile work environment, the conduct has to be offensive to the recipient as well as any other reasonable person. For instance, a female employee may find a male employee offensive if he opened the door for her to walk through but the average person may not.
If you think you are being sexually harassed at work, take action by hiring a Schaumburg employment law attorney from The Law Office of Michael Smith today. We understand these concerns and can come up with solutions that can get you the compensation you deserve. We have litigated over 500 cases in federal court and are not afraid to go up against in the toughest and most powerful of adversaries on behalf of our clients. Get in touch with us for a consultation today!