Filing A Sexual Harassment Claim In Illinois With The Help Of A Chicago Sexual Harassment Attorney
When a worker is subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, the worker has every right to file a complaint. If physical touching, inappropriate gestures or sexual comments make you uncomfortable in the workplace then you need to take action to protect yourself. It does not matter if the harasser is a superior, coworker, or third party that does business with your employer; if you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, you do not have to stand for it.
Where Claims Can Be Filed
A sexual harassment claim can be filed either with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. A claim filed with one agency can be cross-filed with the other, so that your claim will receive treatment under both state and federal law.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal administrative agency that handles, among other things, sexual harassment claims at the federal level. Once a claim is filed, the EEOC will conduct an investigation into the sexual harassment claim. Sexual harassment claims filed with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the sexual harassment. Some small employers with less than 15 employees are not covered under federal law, so a claim filed with the EEOC would be ineffectual.
- Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). The IDHR is a state administrative agency that handles, among other things, sexual harassment claims at the state level. The IDHR also investigates workplace sexual harassment claims. Sexual harassment claims filed with the IDHR must be filed within 180 days of the sexual harassment. Illinois sexual harassment laws applies to businesses with a lower threshold of employees, so victims of workplace sexual harassment who work for an employer with only one to 14 employees should file their sexual harassment claims with the IDHR.
Filing A Lawsuit
Victims of workplace sexual harassment, and witnesses of sexual harassment in the workplace, also have the right to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against their harasser and/or employer under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment victims who have filed a claim with the EEOC can request a right to sue letter, and upon receipt of this letter, the victim can file a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court. It is also important for sexual harassment victims to know that they can also file a sexual harassment lawsuit in the state courts as well. There are a number of reasons why a sexual harassment victim might file a lawsuit in one court over the other (i.e., state court versus federal court). An employment lawyer can help you understand your options.
Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation
An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine where you should file your sexual harassment complaint, and whether going to court is the right option for you. The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline can help work through your workplace sexual harassment claims – let us help you. Contact our Chicago, Illinois sexaul harassment lawyers today for a free consultation.