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Harassment Archives

Seventh Circuit Decision-Use Of The "N-Word"

In recent years, a number of Federal Appellate Courts have issued opinions finding that the single use of a racial slur would be sufficient to constitute a hostile and offensive working environment based on race. On August 21, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reached the opposite conclusion in concluding that the single alleged use of the "N Word" by a Supervisor was not enough to show racial harassment given the overall work scenario of the Plaintiff.

Illinois Workplace Transparency Act

On June 2, 2019, the Illinois General Assembly approved the Workplace Transparency Act providing certain protections concerning sexual harassment in the workplace and imposing significant new obligations on Illinois Employers. This Bill was signed into law by Governor Pritzker in June 2019 and the provision of the new bill become effective January 1, 2020.

Alert: Pending Legislation in Illinois Would Impose Huge Impact on Sexual Harassment Claims on all Employers

On April 11, 2019, the Illinois state Senate passed Senate Bill 1829, also known as the Workplace Transparency Act. If passed by the Illinois House of Representatives and if signed by the Governor, this Act would impose new requirements and limitations with respect to harassment and discrimination claims on Illinois employers. As of May 10, 2019, this bill is pending before the House Rules Committee.

Alert: Pending Legislation in Illinois to Require Sexual Harassment Training of all Restaurant Employees

On February 15, 2019, a proposed bill was introduced in the Illinois House by State Representative Ann M. Williams. This legislation is called the Restaurant Anti-Harassment Act. As of March 29, 2019, this bill is pending before the Rules Committee.

Rumors of "Sleeping Your Way to the Top" Can Constitute Sex Discrimination

It remains an unfortunate, though persistent, stereotype in our society that women who advance in the workplace, especially those who do so rapidly and have a male superior, do so not by merit, but rather, because of a sexual relationship with their superior. In other words, they only obtained the position because they are "sleeping with the boss." When such false rumors and gossip persist - and are even advanced by other managers, can they form the basis of a claim for sex discrimination? The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just determined that they can.

Legislative Update: Key Changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act New Employee Rights and New Requirements for Employers

On June 8, 2018 and August 24, 2018 respectively, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act which in the State of Illinois regulates discrimination claims due to a protected category, disability or sexual harassment claims.

Sexual Harassment and Stalkers

Last month I wrote that conduct that is sexual in nature does not necessarily constitute sexual harassment unless it is directed at a person because of his or her sex. But what about conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but really creepy? In other words, can stalking be considered sexual harassment, even if it is not overtly sexual? If so, can an employer be liable when a customer or some other third party is doing the stalking? In a recent case involving Costco, the Seventh Circuit unequivocally found that it can and was.

Sexual Conduct Does Not Always Constitute Sex Discrimination

Wait, what? If the conduct directed at an employee is sexual in nature or has sexual connotations, doesn't that automatically make it unlawful sexual harassment? Not necessarily.

Love Contracts And Policies On Office Romance: What Can An Employer Do?!

There has been so much written lately both in gossip columns and legal (and standard) news about sex harassment in the workplace. Employers are understandably quite nervous about dating among co-workers. Can it lead to lawsuits? When does it deteriorate to sex harassment? What should an employer do?

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