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Chicago Sexual Harassment Laws

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According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment in the workplace is defined as “any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any conduct of a sexual nature when 1) submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of employment, and 2) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making decisions about your employment; or 3) such conduct interferes with your job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”

The State of Illinois has carried the EEOC mandate a step further by passing the Illinois Human Rights Act which went into effect July 1, 1980, and requiring all employers “ who are public contractors and bidders to have a written policy which states that sexual harassment is illegal.”  The Illinois Human Rights Act of 1980 acts in conjunction with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1973, both of which are enforced by the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

How to Report Sexual Harassment in the Workplace:

  • First let the person harassing you know that you want their conduct to immediately cease, and that you are offended by this type of attention.
  • Document every detail in writing, including where it occurred, when it occurred, any witnesses present, and any remarks made by all those involved.
  • Document any threatening remarks, even those implied, that threatened your job, or your education.
  • Discuss your concerns with other co-workers you believe to be trustworthy to determine if they would be willing to act as witnesses on your behalf.
  • Report the incident(s) to your supervisor providing he/she is not the person harassing you.
  • Report the incident(s) to the human resources department.
  • If the conduct of the person sexually harassing you is threatening and could possibly escalate to a criminal offense, report it to law enforcement.

If you have been, or are being sexually harassed, contact a Chicago employment lawyer at Goldman & Ehrlich today for a free consultation to discuss you legal options. Do not suffer alone. We want to help you remedy the situation.