Chicago Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Chicago

At its core, sexual harassment is really about a loss of dignity and respect. Many victims feel like they have been violated because they had to endure conduct that no one should have to tolerate. Moreover, many Chicago sexual harassment victims feel like their complaints fell on deaf ears and that their employers did not take their harassment allegations seriously.

At the Law Office of Mitchell Kline, we do more than provide aggressive representation. We treat each client with dignity and respect. We carefully listen to all your allegations and the history behind them. Then, we offer solid advice about your legal options. Finally, working together, we formulate a plan of action designed to bring victims both justice and compensation. This approach has served us well in the past, and we believe it will continue to bear fruit in the future.

Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Many employment discrimination cases, most notably gender and race discrimination matters, usually involve either a sudden, traumatic event or a series of events over time. Sexual harassment works the same way, in that there are basically two types of claims:

  • Hostile Environment: Taken individually, things like lewd jokes or misogynistic computer wallpaper may not amount to much, but over time, they become bricks in a wall. If that wall is an obstacle which prevents you from being your best, you may have a sexual harassment claim. It really does not matter how high the wall is; it just needs to be there.
  • Quid Pro Quo: If a supervisor conditions an entry or exit-level decision on a sexual favor, even something like “we can talk about this over dinner,” such conduct crosses the line. The same thing applies to promotions, raises, and other important mid-level employment decisions.

Sexual harassment is not limited to co-workers and supervisors. If a customer acts inappropriately, an employee complains, and the company does not properly address the situation, third-party sexual harassment liability could attach. Additionally, if workplace sexual harassment extends to stalking or assault, additional remedies could be available.

The employer is generally responsible for sexual harassment damages. Sometimes, the employer knew about the misconduct but did not take sufficient action to stop it. Other times, employers only conduct cursory pro forma investigations following employee complaints. On a related note, only the employer can bring about the changes needed to make the job site a harassment-free workplace. So, the employer must be accountable in these cases.

Damages Available in Chicago

Economic losses make up the bulk of most sexual harassment damages awards. In this context, this category usually includes:

  • Back Pay: Employers fire or discipline many sexual harassment victims simply because they make complaints. In other situations, victims feel compelled to resign their positions. Legally, both direct and indirect termination have the same effect on damages.
  • Front Pay: As part of asexual harassment resolution, employers must usually reinstate victims. If such reinstatement is inappropriate, for whatever reason, victims may be entitled to at least a portion of their future pay.

Some courts, although not very many, also award economic damages for things like job relocation and job search expenses stemming from the termination.

Noneconomic damages, for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and emotional distress may be available as well. Moreover, many Cook County jurors award significant punitive damages in these cases. A damages cap may apply, largely depending on the employer’s size.

Work With a Passionate Lawyer

We are committed to doing our part to end workplace sexual harassment in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced employment law attorney in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. After-hours appointments are available.