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


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