Chicago Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment is a major part of the practice of most employment lawyers. And like most employment lawyers, the attorneys at Maduff & Maduff are called upon to analyze sexual harassment claims on an almost daily basis.
Sexual Harassment is generally of two types: Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment and Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment. Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer or supervisor demands sexual favors in exchange for raises, promotions, or other perks, or threatens an employee for failure to provide sexual favors. The fact that you may have given in to those demands does NOT mean that you have no case. The key is that the sexual advances are unwanted. The fact that a person provides sexual favors in an effort to save his or her job may nonetheless pursue a case of sexual harassment.
Hostile Environment sexual harassment occurs when the working environment is made hostile because of its sexual nature. You may have a claim for Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment if your working environment is made intolerable by photos, comments, jokes, or other acts of an offensive sexual nature, including physical touching or attempted rape (though there are other remedies as well). Where there is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment there is invariably a Hostile Environment as well, but the fact that there has not been a direct request for sexual favors does not mean that there is no Hostile Environment.
Does Your Employer Have A Sexual Harassment Policy?
Check your employee handbook to see if your employer has a sexual harassment policy. If it does, it should tell you who to complain to. Generally, complaints cannot be kept secret from the person about whom you are complaining though you should request that it not be made general public knowledge. You can reasonably expect that your employer will implement its sexual harassment policy in good faith. But if it fails to do so, Maduff & Maduff can help you to pursue your case.
You might be concerned that your employer will retaliate against you for complaining of sexual harassment. Any retaliation is illegal and can lead to very large jury verdicts. Because retaliation can be even more dangerous, employers tend to treat complaints of sexual harassment carefully. And any retaliation by your supervisor should also be immediately reported.
Proving Your Case
If you are being harassed with verbal comments, it may be helpful to get them on tape. Be aware that recording a conversation without everyone's permission may be illegal in your state. Keep copies of sexually explicit e-mails, letters, photos, or other tangible items. If there are drawings on furniture or other items that you cannot keep, take photographs of them. These will help your employer address the problem as well. You should also be aware who might have witnessed the sexual harassment because what these people say later will be important.
Sexual harassment and retaliation are serious things and at Maduff & Maduff we take them seriously. No one should have to work under the cloud of sexual harassment and it is our mission to help you fight it. If you are being subjected to sexual harassment you need to take the proper actions. Remember, our Chicago Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Maduff & Maduff are here to help.