Many people in positions of authority in the workplace are responsible and take their positions seriously. Likewise, many people in these types of positions do not abuse their power. Unfortunately, however, there are many others who do use their power and authority in the workplace to put people in subordinate positions in uncomfortable or intimidating situations. Often this abuse of power comes in the form of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment can come in many forms and the perpetrator doesn’t even have to hold a high-level position for harassment to take place. However, many times these are the kind circumstances that exist when sexual harassment occurs. In any case, no form of sexual harassment is acceptable and it should never be tolerated.
A federal judge recently ruled that a lawsuit against Dan Rutherford, the former Treasurer of the state of Illinois, would be allowed to continue. Mr. Rutherford had asked for the lawsuit to be tossed out after he claimed it was politically motivated, given that it was filed as he was beginning his campaign to run for governor. However, the judge ruled that the alleged facts are enough to allow the lawsuit to proceed. In his ruling the judge noted that there was enough to show that a possible hostile work environment existed.
The case revolves around one of Mr. Rutherford’s former aides, who claims that Mr. Rutherford sexually harassed him and forced him to carry out political work while he was being paid by the state. According to the complaint, the former aide claims that Mr. Rutherford harassed him on several occasions, including allegedly grabbing his genitals. The aide also claims in his lawsuit that Mr. Rutherford allegedly told him that if he went home with him, he could have anything he wanted in the office. According to the judge’s ruling, the alleged abuse raised “the possibility of severe or pervasive sexual harassment…to a plausible level.”
This case shows that when there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations then a person should consider a lawsuit. If you think you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the metropolitan Chicago area then contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline to speak with a trusted sexual harassment attorney. Even if you’re not sure about your situation, give us a call and we’ll help you determine whether or not you have a case. Then, we’ll pursue the best legal course of action for your given situation. Give us a call at 312-558-1454 or click here to contact us online.