Sexual Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – the agency responsible for enforcing federal workplace harassment laws – generally defines “sexual harassment” as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Additionally, sexual harassment also includes harassment based on one’s gender, such as derogatory or offensive comments about women. The harasser does not necessarily need to be a supervisor or manager; it can be a co-worker or even a customer or client.  Courts generally do not view isolated incidents or a few offhanded comments as being severe or pervasive enough to constitute sexual harassment. Rather, courts generally look for whether the harassment was so frequent and severe that it created a hostile or offensive work environment. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can contact us and we will help evaluate your potential claim. 

FAQs About Sexual Harassment

Does the sexual harassment have to be done by a supervisor in order for there to be a legal claim?

No. Federal and state law protects employees from sexual harassment in the workplace regardless of whether the harasser is a supervisor, manager, co-worker, or even a customer or client.

An employee who is subjected to sexual harassment at work should review his or her company’s sexual harassment policies and identify the proper person to contact within the company. Often times this is the Human Resources department. Employees should keep copies of any documents that relate to the harassment, including all work records and communications relating to the harassment. If the harassment is not properly addressed, then the employee may want to contact a lawyer to consider legal action.

No. Federal and state law protects an employee from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.

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    Caffarelli & Associates Ltd.

    224 South Michigan Avenue
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    Chicago, Illinois 60604

    P: (312) 763-6880