Vulgar jokes, inappropriate comments, and unwanted physical contact have no place in American work environments. In fact, laws protect men and women from sexual harassment from their co-workers, bosses, and other work associates.
In Illinois, a worker who is subjected to these and other forms of sexual harassment may have rights to seek damages based on the creation of a hostile work environment at their place of employment.
However, hostile work environments are not the only way that individuals can experience sexual harassment at work. Quid pro quo harassment is a serious problem for individuals because it often occurs between them and their superiors. At its core, quid pro quo harassment involves the offer of an employment benefit to an employee in exchange for a sexual favor or acquiescence to a sexual request.
An employee may be told that they are under consideration for a promotion but that they must go on a date with their boss in order to secure the change in position. If the employee refuses they may be retaliated against, which is also illegal, but if they acquiesce then they may be manipulated by their superior. The premising of an employment decision on a sexual favor is wrongful and may serve as the basis of an employee's sexual harassment claim.
Victims of sexual harassment should get help to protect their rights as employees and as individuals. No one should have to endure sexual harassment at work and individuals can take proactive steps to stop it from affecting their abilities to work. Employment law attorneys can help victims of this damaging form of harassment to get the support and relief they deserve.