Most people associate sexual harassment with the misconduct of someone in a supervisory position, but coworker harassment is also common in Geneva or all of Illinois. Whatever the harasser’s job status relative to the victim, harassment should never be tolerated.
If you have been subjected to unwanted comments or conduct in your Chicago, Geneva, or Northern Illinois workplace, the sexual harassment attorneys at Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil are here to protect your rights. Contact us for a free assessment of your case.
In spite of the numerous federal, state, and local laws enacted to make workplaces safe and relatively comfortable for all, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in the Chicago area and throughout the country. Our legal team is deeply committed to the idea that all workers, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or sexual identity, must be allowed to perform their job duties without interference, intimidation or fear of retaliation.
No Matter Who Engages in Sexual Harassment, the Conduct Is Illegal
Strangely, some victims of coworker sexual harassment may feel more entitled to sue an employer or supervisor who is taking advantage of his or her power than to stand up to a coworker. In some work settings, the prevailing view may be that coworker sexual harassment is just meant as friendly “teasing,” and that if they object they are overreacting. This is not the case.
If a coworker’s sexually tainted words or actions make you uncomfortable, embarrassed, humiliated or fearful, you are being sexually harassed and sexual harassment, considered a form of sexual discrimination, is against the law.
How Our Geneva Attorneys Combat the Problem
Our highly capable lawyers have an impressive record of successful outcomes. We will prove prove that:
- The offender’s harassment occurred within the scope of employment
- Your employer knew or should have known about the harassment
- Your employer failed to take corrective action
- The plaintiff (you) suffered actual damages as a result of the harassment,
e.g. in the form of lost income, bonuses, and/or emotional distress
We are also acutely aware that the fear of retribution by the offender, or by your employer for “causing trouble,” may make you reluctant to make a complaint. Don’t worry. Once you have our strong legal advocates at your side you will be well protected. The law is a strong shield against retaliation.
Our sexual harassment attorneys have a well-deserved reputation for legal acumen. We will gather evidence in the form of emails, texts, photos of posted materials, and witness accounts to help us prove your case. Above all, we will use our sharp negotiation skills to persuade opposing attorneys to offer an appropriate settlement. If they are intractable, we are fully prepared to win a positive verdict at trial.
Types of Coworker Sexual Harassment You May Have Experienced
There are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Both are unsettling and disruptive. Coworker harassment typically falls into the hostile work environment category.
- Quid Pro Quo occurs when someone in a supervisory position offers an incentive or threatens a punishment to coerce a sexual act. In other words, the supervisor makes it clear that giving in to a sexual demand will result in hire, a pay raise, a bonus or some other perk. On the other hand, he or she threatens that refusing to satisfy the sexual demand will result in demotion, discipline, or termination.
- A Hostile Work Environment is created when the victim is forced to endure one or more of the following:
- Leering, sexual comments, dirty jokes. offensive overtures
- Posted sexually suggestive photos, pictures, slogans or cartoons
- Provocative or obscene emails, texts, chats, phone calls or messages
- Inquiries about the victim’s sexual desires or behavior
- Provocative references to the victim’s clothing or body parts
- Repeated requests for a date, a dance, a back rub, a kiss
- Unwanted proximity or caresses, pats, strokes, pinches
It should be noted that you needn’t be the target of sexual harassment to be offended by it. Audible sexual comments about others at the workplace or repeated references to sexual activity between your colleagues can also be considered coworker sexual harassment. In most cases, though, a single incident does not constitute sexual harassment unless it is especially overt or explicit.
Our Coworker Sexual Harassment Attorneys Are Well-Prepared to Litigate
Once we have established that you have a legitimate case and you have become our client, our goal will be to win you the damages for whatever the negative consequences of the sexual harassment have been, such as failure to receive a deserved raise or being wrongfully terminated.
Although many sexual harassment cases are able to be settled through skillful negotiations, we always prepare for a courtroom battle in order to have the best chance of winning maximum damages.
Damages You May Obtain if We Win a Geneva Lawsuit
The particular damages we seek will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, but may include:
- Lost wages (back and front pay)
- Funds equal to the bonus you were entitled to but never received
- Reinstatement if you have been wrongfully terminated
- Compensation for emotional suffering and/or reputational harm
Contact Our Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Don’t allow yourself to be victimized at your place of employment. Coworker sexual harassment interrupts workflow and causes enormous emotional distress. If you have tried to call a stop to it by speaking to your coworker and complaining to your employer and are still being tormented, it is time to call the empathic employment law team at Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil.
Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC serves Chicago, DuPage County, Kane County, and Cook County from their office in Geneva, Illinois for all coworker sexual harassment legal needs of our clients.