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Sexual Harassment

Understanding Sexual Harassment Law in Illinois

The Illinois Gender Violence Act protects women who are victims of sexual assault. This can include unwanted touching, rape, and other forms of gender-related violence.

Illinois Gender Violence Act: Know Your Rights

The statute of limitations on this Act is much longer than the limitations for employment discrimination claims filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The limitation period for claims involving physical conduct under the Illinois Gender Violence Act is seven years.

Notable Sexual Harassment Case Victories in Illinois

FPB represented R. Kelly Victim of Sexual Abuse and Harassment. Read more here: Fish’s R. Kelly Case Sex Abuse Case Featured On CBS ( and An R. Kelly victim says Kim Foxx made a mistake in dropping state charges : NPR

FPB represented professional sports coach relating to retaliation for opposing sexual assault. Read more:

Attorney David Fish interviewed sexual harassment cases and how confidentiality agreements allow more abuse. Listen to the podcast here to learn more: Employee to Lawyer Podcast | An Employment Law Podcast By NELA Illinois - PodRiver

FPB also provides sexual harassment training prevention for the workplace. For example, we trained members of the Illinois State Bar Association on preventing sex harassment. The focus of the seminar was to improve the culture of the workplace and to satisfy annually mandated sexual harassment prevention training required by the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (Public Act 101-0220). To watch a replay, click here: LIVE WEB - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training - Video Replay 2 | Illinois State Bar Association | (

Contact Our Trusted Chicago Sexual Harassment Lawyers

When you need help navigating workplace sexual harassment or sexual abuse in Chicago, Workplace Law Partners. can help you. Call (312) 818-2407 for an initial consultation with one of our experienced Chicago sexual harassment attorney.

Empower Yourself Against Workplace Sexual Harassment in Illinois

Sexual harassment is an unfortunate reality in many workplaces, affecting individuals across various industries. It's crucial to be informed about your rights and the steps you can take if you find yourself facing such a situation. Here are some suggestions:

  • Recognizing Sexual Harassment: Understanding what constitutes sexual harassment is the first step towards addressing the issue. Sexual harassment can take various forms, including unwanted advances, inappropriate comments, or any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. It's essential to trust your instincts and recognize when you are being subjected to inappropriate conduct.
  • Documenting the Incident: As soon as you experience sexual harassment, start documenting the details. Note the date, time, location, and a detailed description of the incident. Include any relevant information such as the individuals involved, any witnesses, and the impact it had on you. Keeping a record will serve as valuable evidence should you decide to take further action.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights as an employee. Laws and regulations regarding sexual harassment may vary depending on your location, but many countries have legislation in place to protect workers from such behavior. Research the laws applicable to your situation to understand your rights and protections.
  • Review Company Policies: Most workplaces have policies in place to address sexual harassment. Review your company's policies to understand the procedures for reporting such incidents. Take note of any designated individuals or departments responsible for handling complaints and the steps involved in the investigation process.
  • Report the Incident: If you feel comfortable doing so, report the incident to the appropriate authority within your organization. Follow the established reporting procedures outlined in your company's policies. Provide the documented details of the incident, and be prepared to answer any questions that may arise during the investigation. Report sexual harassment in writing to HR, or via email or even text message.
  • Seek Support: Dealing with sexual harassment can be emotionally challenging. Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues for support. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from a counselor or therapist who can help you navigate the emotional impact of the experience.
  • Contact External Resources: If your internal reporting does not lead to a satisfactory resolution or if you face retaliation, consider reaching out to external resources. This may include contacting your country's labor board (in Cook County), the Illinois Human Rights Commission, or seeking legal advice from an employment attorney.

Take Action Against Sexual Harassment: Your Guide to a Safer Workplace

Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace is a distressing situation, but taking proactive steps can empower you to address the issue and protect your rights. By understanding your rights, documenting incidents, and utilizing available resources, you can contribute to creating a safer and more respectful work environment. Remember, you are not alone, and there is support available to help you navigate through this challenging experience.

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Here is some important information from our Illinois law handbook on sexual harassment:

Chapter 2

Sexual Harassment

What is Sexual Harassment?   Sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual conduct, requests for sexual favor, advances and other conduct. Private employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex: “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer … to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s … sex….” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e–2(a)(1). Employers can be held vicariously liable for a supervisor’s sexual harassment of a subordinate. Gentry v. Exp. Packaging Co., 238 F.3d 842, 846 (7th Cir. 2001)

               An employer can avoid liability by showing:  (a) that the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior, and (b) that the plaintiff employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise. Gentry v. Exp. Packaging Co., 238 F.3d 842, 846 (7th Cir. 2001)

Tips For Sexual Harassment Prevention: 

Some tips if you are victim of sexual harassment include:  

  • document in writing/email through a complaint to human resources that the sexual harassment is occurring and you need it to stop, 
  • file a sexual harassment claim with a governmental agency, 
  • don’t quit your job if at all possible, 
  • follow the sexual harassment/discrimination guidelines in your employment handbook, 
  • contact a sexual harassment attorney to advise you through the process.

Sample Sexual Harassment Complaint:  We are frequently asked how to file a sexual harassment complaint at your company.  You should always be truthful and direct.  Do it in your own words.  Here is an example:

Dear Human Resources:

            I am being sexually harassed at work by _____________. I need it to stop because I feel uncomfortable.   I do not like being subjected to unwanted sexual touching and comments.  Please help me stop this so I can continue to work. 


Additional Ways To Complain About Sexual Harassment:   You can also file a formal complaint with the EEOC or the Illinois Department of Human Rights about sexual harassment in the workplace.  In fact, if you plan to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit, you are required to timely file with the appropriate governmental agency.   Here is a link to the EEOC web site to find out more about how to file a charge of employment discrimination: