As we can see from ongoing scandals in politics, large corporations, and small businesses, quid quo pro sexual harassment in the workplace continues in spite of legislative measures to prevent it. If you are a victim in the vicinity of Chicago, Foote, Meilke, Chavez & O’Neil is here to protect your right to work in a safe and comfortable environment.
What is quid pro quo sexual harassment?
The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) defines quid pro quo sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct is made a condition of employment or advancement.”
“Quid pro quo” means “this for that,” indicating bargaining. In this case, however, quid pro quo refers to an unfair bargain in which one individual has the advantage. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is an unsavory practice in which those with superior employment status — supervisors, managers, executives, owners — use the power of their positions to coerce employees of lesser standing to engage in unwanted sexual acts.
It works with bribes and threats. The supervisor may offer rewards (e.g. promotion (raise, bonus, promotion) for compliance with sexual demands or may threaten the subordinate with demotion, lower wages, worse hours, worse working conditions, or termination for refusal to yield to them. Many employees refrain from reporting sexual harassment for fear of losing their jobs, but you should also be aware that it is illegal for your employer to retaliate if you make a complaint of sexual harassment.
It is important to remember that when it comes to quid pro quo sexual harassment, anyone — regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification — can be a victim (or for that matter a predator).
What laws protect you from quid pro quo sexual harassment?
In Illinois, you are protected from sexual harassment as a form of discrimination under federal, state, and local laws, primarily Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). You should also be protected under your company’s employee rules as stated in the company employee handbook. The handbook should also provide you with information about precisely what steps to take if you are targeted for quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Why You Need the Services Our Sexual Harassment Attorneys Provide
Sexual harassment, whether overt or nuanced, can be embarrassing, frightening, humiliating, and overwhelming. Once you contact us, our proficient law team will evaluate your case carefully to see if it is viable. Once we take you on as a client, our savvy attorneys will take all necessary steps necessary to position ourselves for success, including:
- Helping you gather evidence substantiating your claim (e.g. texts, phone messages)
- Assisting you in filing a complaint with the HR department of your company
- Helping you to file complaints with civil rights government agencies
- Drafting and filing all paperwork and filing your claim
- Negotiating forcefully with opposing attorneys
While this may be your first distressing encounter with sexual harassment, our attorneys have the well-honed skills that come with extensive experience. Many times we are able to craft such strong strategies that we can achieve positive results without ever entering the courtroom. No matter what, however, we are always prepared for vigorous litigation.
Our law team is well-versed in every aspect of employment law and has a well-earned reputation for aggressive, successful litigation. We will fight vigorously to see that you receive an appropriate settlement and that, if desired, steps are taken to have you reinstated in your workplace.
Damages We Will Seek for You
No two quid pro quo harassment cases are identical, but we will fight vigorously to obtain appropriate damages for such things as:
- Lost wages
- Unpaid bonuses
- Withheld benefits
- Unreceived paid time off
- Emotional distress
- Reputational harm
- Job search costs
- Legal fees and court costs
In cases in which you have been heinously mistreated, our sexual harassment attorneys may also be able to persuade the court to award you punitive damages as well. Punitive damages serve a dual purpose: they both punish the offender and discourage others from engaging in similar misconduct.
Whichever Side You’re On, We’re on Your Side
Our savvy sexual harassment attorneys also work with employers to assist them in making certain that their company protocols will protect them from employee lawsuits and that their employee handouts are precisely worded and fully understandable. If you are the defendant in a quid pro quo sexual harassment lawsuit, contact us for a powerful, well-crafted defense.
Contact Our Experienced Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Attorneys
You don’t have to work under the unpleasant and sometimes frightening conditions of quid pro quo sexual harassment. You have every right to earn a living free from the physical and emotional stress of being viewed as a sexual object to be used and abused. Contact Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil today. We will listen to your story with respect and empathy and do all we can to bring you peace and justice.
Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC serves Chicago, DuPage County, Kane County, and Cook County from their office in Geneva, Illinois for all quid pro quo sexual harassment legal needs of our clients.