Sexual Harassment Under Federal Law

Web Admin - Friday, December 18, 2015

sexual harassment under federal law, Crystal Lake Employment Law AttorneyOne of the most serious issues that can occur in the workplace is sexual harassment. It is a violation of both state and federal laws and can be committed by and against numerous different individuals. Sexual harassment is considered a civil rights violation.

Defining Sexual Harassment 

Under federal law, sexual harassment is defined as any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is not welcomed. The conduct must be so severe or frequent that it creates a hostile or intimidating workplace. It is important to note that sexual harassment can occur between people of the same or opposite gender. Further, a victim does not need to be the individual being harassed. If an individual is affected by offensive conduct, a sexual harassment claim may be made. 

Specifically, sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Title VII applies to state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations, and the federal government. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) encourages employers to provide training on sexual harassment and to communicate to employees that it will not be tolerated. Under Illinois law, companies and state agencies must develop policies on sexual harassment. State agencies must post these policies in a prominent and accessible location, as well as distribute them to all employees.

Victims of sexual harassment can file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. The potential remedies may include compensatory and punitive damages, though the damage awards are capped dependent upon the size of the employer. For example, the damage award is capped at $50,000 for employers with 15-100 employees. 

Federal Employees 

Victims of sexual harassment who are federal employees must follow specific procedures when making a claim. Under most circumstances, a federal employee must contact an EEOC counselor of the agency where the harassment occurred within 45 days of the date of the harassment. After the claim has been made, it is addressed either through EEO counseling or alternate dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation. 

It is important to note that federal employees cannot file a lawsuit until attempting to resolve the matter through the administrative complaint process. However, during the process, there are opportunities to initiate a lawsuit under the following circumstances: 

1. 180 days have passed since the complaint was filed and no decision has been made and no appeal has been filed; 

2.  Within 90 days of the complainant receiving the agency’s decision, as long as no appeal has been filed; 

3. 180 days have passed from the filing of an appeal if no decision has been issued by the EEOC; or 

4. Within 90 days from the date the complainant receives the EEOC’s decision after an appeal. 

If you believe that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, it is important to contact an experienced Illinois employment law attorney as soon as possible. Our firm can help stop unwanted harassment and pursue compensation for damages you have suffered. We represent individuals in Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park.

    Ken Apicella

    About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.





Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Web Admin - Friday, September 18, 2015

sexual harassment in the workplace, Illinois employment law attorneySome of the most damaging and costly issues that develop in the workplace are those related to sexual harassment. When sexual harassment is allowed to occur, it creates an environment that is less productive and opens the possibility for serious lawsuits. It is important for both employers and employees to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding sexual harassment. For employers, it provides a better understanding of what is required and how to prevent harassment. For employees, it serves as guidance for knowing what behavior rises to harassment.  

Harassment in Illinois  

Sexual harassment is prohibited by federal, state, and local law. Under Illinois law, sexual harassment is defined as any sexual advances or requests for sexual favors when they are not welcomed. Additionally, sexual harassment includes any conduct of a sexual nature when:  

1. Submission to such conduct is an implied or express condition of the victim’s employment; 

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions related to the victim; or 

3. Such conduct substantially interferes with a victim’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. It is a civil rights violation for a person to engage in sexual harassment. 

Further, an employer is considered responsible for the sexual harassment of employees if the employer is aware of the conduct and does not take reasonable corrective measures. While sexual harassment is usually thought of as being sexual in nature, it does not need to be. Sexual harassment occurs when offensive remarks are made about a person’s gender. For example, a woman is sexually harassed if a person makes offensive comments to her about women generally. Victims and harassers can be either a man or a woman. Further, it is also possible for sexual harassment to occur between a victim and a harasser of the same gender.  

Preventing Harassment  

It is the responsibility of the employer to prevent sexual harassment. One of the ways in which this is accomplished is through the adoption and use of a sexual harassment policy. Ordinarily, this policy is part of the employee handbook that all employees should be given. The sexual harassment policy should contain the following: 

1. Definition of sexual harassment;  

2. A statement that harassment will not be tolerated, with disciplinary action for those who commit it; and 

3. A description of the procedure victims should take to file a complaint. Employers should also provide training and education on sexual harassment to both employees and those in supervisory or managerial roles. This training should explain what sexual harassment is, how complaints should be filed, and how complaints should be investigated and addressed.  

Legal Help for Employers and Employees 

For more information about the laws regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, contact a skilled Illinois employment law attorney today. Whether you are an employer or employee, our firm can help. We proudly serve communities throughout the northwest suburbs, including Deer Park, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Des Plaines, Palatine, Schaumburg, and Crystal Lake.

      Ken Apicella

      About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Recent Posts


Inverness real estate attorney holiday statistics Illinois traffic attorney Illinois insurance disputes dog bites corporate law attorney fees Long Grove real estate lawyer Inverness elder law lawyer Arlington Heights lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney Arlington Heights traffic attorney Illinois insurance claims lawyers IRA benefits ACA criminal Long Grove estate planning Illinois insurance dispute lawyers pizza emoji Transfer on Death Instrument DUI attorney condo association Crystal Lake pet attorney federal regulations for LLCs medical malpractice claims Illinois car accident attorney Barrington Traffic Lawyer employee discrimination Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer head on collisions Des Plaines real estate lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyer employment attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney insurance attorney workers compensation benefits rest breaks Des Plaines accident attorney Chicago estate planning job lawyers insurance dispute attorney Schaumburg probate attorney traffic laws Illinois employment lawyer DUI penalities startup company Home Sale Contingencies Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Chicago car accident lawyer healthcare social media after death trucking accident lawyers paid sick leave Arlington Heights accident attorney insurance disputes Illinois business lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Illinois insurance attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer capital gains tax premises liability license reinstatement Illinois registered agent boating under the influence digital evidence Arlington Heights TBI attorney pregnant women Illinois home inspection motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association unauthorized overtime employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, disability benefits vacation home fines DUI defense power of attorney life insurance policy Illinois collections attorney Arlington Heights insurance attorney car accident lawyers Illinois corporate lawyer Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Illinois real estate lawyer Chicago employment lawyer Illinois insurance lawyer Detainer Actions elder law installment contracts Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney murder defense employment lawyer Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Illinois elder law attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney personal injury lawyer FSLA federal crimes Illinois trucking safety wage theft estate tax Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer changes to mortgage law financial advisors Illinois personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows real estate attorney comp time pay when paid contract Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute boating accidents traffic offenses living trust car collision Illinois employment law firm Crystal Lake law firm trucking accidents motorcycle accident Palatine law firm probate claims unpaid assessment Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer auto accidents Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney privacy laws cell phone accidents GM ignition switches Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer texting while driving commercial leases Inverness injury lawyer DUI manufacturing Landlord Tenant Ordinance Illinois red light cameras cell phone tower data fatal car accidents bike accident college kids guardianship attorney liens Riverwoods estate planning lawyer modern family estate planning Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer BAIID drunk driving statistics School Visitation Rights Act back injuries construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation trauma after an accident workers comp sole proprietorship agent severance agreements Buffalo Grove law firm pet law unfunded trust Illinois bicycle safety traffic violations defense underage DUI Fourth of July Mt Prospect Attorney owner responsibility medication errors Barrington boating accident attorney license revocation Crystal Lake traffic attorney dealing with problem employees Illinois personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows probate lawyer in terrorem provision deadly crashes criminal law medical research trusts Illinois traffic laws coronavirus blended families forming a corporation in Illinois Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic attorney living trust benefits probate Retaliatory Discharge distracted driving accidents natural gas Illinois will lawyer defective products lawyer child safety Deer Park personal injury lawyer IRELA breach of contract traffic deaths Illinois lawyer Palatine employment lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer institutional trustee Barrington employment law attorney Illinois digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Barrington criminal lawyer traumatic brain injuries medical marijuana criminal record Illinois attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer denied insurance claim ObamaCare truck collisions Schaumburg employment attorney employee rights Deer Park employment law attorney minimum wage insurance negligence wrongful death traumatic brain injury criminal defense Illinois workers compensation lawyer foreclosure Do Not Resuscitate defective products construction accidents reckless homicide license Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois estate planning attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney expungement slip and fall accidents Illinois real estate Barrington business law firm unpaid overtime Barrington medical malpractice lawyers digital assets Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Palatine punch death boating DUI estate planning attorney insurance denials Rolling Meadows field sobriety test landlord tenant law Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Palatine insurance lawyer Barrington estate planning attorney drug crimes lawyer Barrington employment law firm clemency loopholes Rolling Meadows criminal attorney ken apicella Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, real estate zoning Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Deer Park real estate law firm privacy creditors Schaumburg criminal law attorney Illinois law gift taxes tax attorney personal injury caretaker rights insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys small business murder charges hiring employees denial of life insurance compensatory time Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Illinois jet ski accident lawyer traffic violations healthcare claims income distribution deducation Attorney Ken Apicella Home Remodeling Repair Act LLCs Mount Prospect elder law attorney employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys accidental death benefits Illinois living will Illinois medical malpractice claim personal injury accidents homestead rights filing a medical malpractice claim nursing home negligence Crystal Lake injury attorney Crystal Lake traffic lawyer life insurance claims residential real estate Thanksgiving employment contract underinsured motorist Inverness DUI lawyer Chicago insurance law firm Palatine real estate lawyer estate planning for college students Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Palatine employment attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Palatine employment law lawyer internet bicycle accidents Des Plaines real estate attorney preventable medical errors Inverness corporate attorney Crystal Lake employment attorney Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer life insurance lawyer real estate lawyer Illinois medical malpractice attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys Illinois employment law attorney consent to a search Rolling Meadows Attorney Chicago traffic lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm drug crimes whistleblower protections sexual images civil litigation attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyers real estate attorney Whistleblower Claims Illinois construction accident attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer business litigation Illinois personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights injury attorney Schaumburg injury lawyer Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Deer Park accident attorney work unions icy parking lots Arlington Heights real estate lawyer elder abuse foreclosed rental property first degree murder Palatine civil attorney spinal cord injury Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Kenilworth estate planning attorney car crashes insurance claim denial Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Illinois job attorney drug crime Schaumburg personal injury attorney South Barrington real estate attorney Palatine workers compensation lawyer Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Palatine business attorney food poisoning Colin Gilbert Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers rumble strips no contest clauses Legal Info blood alcohol content Palatine construction attorney natural gas explosion DMV pain and suffering pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality involuntary manslaughter medical malpractice compensation drug possession DGAA Deer Park traffic accident attorney Des Plaines pet law attorney Des Plaines injury law firm operating agreements Colin H. Gilbert Illinois LLC creation DNR Barrington litigation attorney advance healthcare directive employment law Class A misdemeanor health insurance dispute Illinois small business Self-Directed IRA Accounts Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Deer Park criminal attorney Super Mario Crystal Lake car accident attorney controlled substance insurance adjusters estate planning trusts Illinois employee rights attorney. Buffalo Grove corporate attorney cell phone Illinois probate lawyer taxes Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer car crash Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer wills Illinois Trust Code hit and run accident Illinois estate planning law firm mass shooting Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Palatine corporate law attorneys drunk driving Crystal Lake insurance lawyer real estate attorneys Barrington workers compensation attorney Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois traffic accident lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Schaumburg wrongful death attorney brain injury vacation home Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney eluding a police officer subcontractor Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Illinois insurance claim attorney estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, estate plan Barrington attorney Jay Andrew hands free device BUI liability claims Arlington Heights Attorney insurance claim construction contracts Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Illinois employment laws product liability Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney personal injury claims bad faith insurance claims Des Plaines traffic accidents Arlington Heights criminal lawyer insurance claim dispute attorney problem employees Long Grove estate planning attorney Illinois driving without license car accident Rolling Meadows employment attorney Schaumburg pedestrian accident Illinois rollover accident lawyers estate planning lawyer Chicago estate planning lawyer Palatine elder law attorney overtime violations Crystal Lake business law attorneys irrevocable trust Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois criminal defense attorney medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers digital information Palatine Attorney low-ball insurance settlement Illinois trusts attorney independent contractor Rolling Meadows business lawyer Illinois traffic attorneys suspended license Crystal Lake tax lawyer murder Illinois employment attorneys trustee insurance claims liability traffic crimes Barrington personal injury lawyer insurance claim delay Illinois employment law attorneys pedestrian-automobile accident senior citizens marijuana Illinois workers compensation attorney investment property dram shop law estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Illinois DUI attorney PTSD Palatine drug lawyer Palatine traffic lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorneys insurance dispute Palatine estate planning lawyer rollover accidents appealing an insurance claim real estate employment law, Illinois employment laws Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer slip and fall trench injuries dynasty trusts distracted driving accident victims probate process Illinois employment law right to work Schaumburg car accident attorney probate claims process Chicago corporate attorney Deer Park traffic lawyer pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Illinois tax attorney bicycle dooring accidents Illinois business law atorneys Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys drugs Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer crossover accidents Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney POA products liability real estate contract Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Des Plaines claims law firm texting and driving wrongful termination Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Schaumburg insurance lawyers Des Plaines DUI attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer estate planning employee misclassification Inverness insurance attorney preventing accidents Crystal Lake will lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers revenge porn Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act fiduciary rule Palatine trusts lawyer comparative negligence Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents rent to own real estate contracts Barrington estate planning lawyer Illinois estate planning Liquor Control Act Arlington Heights employment attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer real estate closing Schaumburg Attorney insurance agent negligence rollover car crashes driving TBI landlord golf accidents Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer new real estate form Des Plaines collections attorney Illinois wrongful termination lawyer gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys breathalyzer test CAM Barrington real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Illinois workplace lawyer living trust vs will wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace personal injury attorney commercial real estate insurance denial appeals spinal cord injuries Illinois pet lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Illinois defective products attorney mortgage IRA trust transfer fiduciary rule delay workplace sexual harassment Fair Labor Standards Act Des Plaines personal injury attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney Inverness personal injury attorney Arlington Heights trucking lawyer civil rights violation Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Palatine traffic accidents BAC employees meal breaks workers compensation loss of consortium Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer uninsured motorist automated cars Illinois personal injury Chicago insurance claim attorneys Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Palatine personal injury lawyer Chicago attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Affordable Care Act Illinois Smoke Detector Act car accident lawyer caregiver Rolling Meadows tax attorney Des Plaines civil attorney Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer personal injury claim condo overtime pay Chicago trucking accident attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer fault based insurance Illinois speeding lawyer Chicago biking tips Joliet general practice lawyers Des Plaines insurance attorney Inverness real estate lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer insurance claim dispute Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers special needs trust Palatine criminal defense lawyer insurance claim denials Barrington employment attorney Palatine injury attorney estate attorney pet bites Schaumburg elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers FMLA Inverness civil lawyer Illinois mortgages swimming pools license suspension marijuana crimes attorney Illinois medical malpractice case Exclusions deed transfer Employment Discrimination Law Schaumburg civil litigation attorney probate lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Illinois wills and trusts contracts Family Medical Leave Act Chicago lawyer anesthesia errors insurance agents Crystal Lake employment law attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Deer Park workers compensation lawyer life insurance Barrington civil litigation attorney insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys commercial leasing Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Illinois Human Rights Act civil litigation South Barrington real estate lawyer jet ski accidents personal injury law firm Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Long Grove real estate attorney living wills IRS Palatine probate lawyer Policy Cancellation Chicago employment attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer car crash injuries Barrington injury attorney real estate leasing Schaumburg corporate attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Inverness probate lawyer Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Chicago will attorney probate fees Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney medical malpractice Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer speeding Inverness accident lawyer traffic tickets power of attorney for healthcare wills and trusts Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Barrington drug crime attorney sexual harassment Schaumburg traffic lawyer home inspection lawyer Palatine corporate attorney surgical mistakes denied insurance claims Inverness traffic law firm Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers car accidents trust payments Barrington personal injury attorney jet ski underfunded trust Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Forcible Entry Illinois injury lawyer