At S.T. Legal Group, sexual harassment and false accusations of sexual harassment is taken very seriously. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, or if you have been accused of permitting sexual harassment in your company, you are far from alone. That is why Attorney Diana Taylor is here to help fight for your rights and give you the best chance of winning your case.
While sexual harassment may seem to be more prevalent, it is just not as tolerated in the workplace as it used to be. More and more, those who have experienced sexual harassment are not only speaking up but standing up against those that have oppressed them. Nowhere is this more true than in the workplace where so many lawsuits are being filed against those who demean others—on movie sets, in executive offices, in factories, in retail establishments, in restaurants, etc.—using the tools of sexual harassment.
At the same time, because this issue is now more openly confronted, some are using accusations of sexual harassment to disguise poor work performance or for their own personal gain. At S.T. Legal Group, we fight for justice no matter which side of the issue you’re on.
Defining Sexual Harassment
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is classified as a form of gender discrimination. Because any type of workplace discrimination is illegal, if we can prove that you were sexually harassed, the harassment was reported to your superiors, and no steps were taken to right the situation, the company and the perpetrator can be held legally accountable.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has defined sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” when such conduct is made a condition for employment, used as a basis for employment decisions, interferes with the victim’s work performance, or creates a hostile work environment.
According to The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IHRA), sexual harassment may involve any of the following three types of offensive overtures:
- Spoken or written messages
- Physical touching of a sexual nature
- Visual displays of explicit or suggestive images or cartoons
It is also important for both employers and employees to be aware that a person of any gender, sexual orientation, or sexual identification can be the victim, or the perpetrator, of such misconduct and that the harasser need not be in a supervisory position. A coworker, colleague, employer, manager, or even a vendor, contractor or delivery person, can be found guilty of sexual harassment.
The Two Recognized Categories of Sexual Harassment
The law recognizes two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. As with other forms of discrimination, the victim reporting the harassment does not have to be the individual being taunted or disturbed; the victim might be another person in the workplace discomforted by the behavior.
 Quid pro quo sexual harassment is said to occur when sexual favors are demanded as a condition of employment or workplace benefits, such as:
- Obtaining a raise or bonus
- Being given a better workspace
- Getting a more favorable schedule
In the case of quid pro quo sexual harassment, the harasser must have some authority over the victim (e.g. be a manager, team leader, supervisor) to be able to dangle an employment benefit as a carrot. Conversely, the individual with more authority may threaten demotion, unpleasant working conditions, or wrongful termination if the victim is noncompliant.
Hostile Work Environment
Anyone who works where you do can create a hostile work environment, regardless of workplace status. Examples of behavior that may make the workplace hostile include:
- Leering, making sexual comments or gestures, making offensive sounds
- Showing or posting obscene or suggestive photos, pictures, or cartoons
- Wearing clothing or buttons with offensive messages
- Sending offensive emails, texts, or chats
- Repeatedly telling dirty jokes
- Using provocative or humiliating sexual nicknames
- Making repeated, unwanted verbal overtures, such as requests for a date
In most cases, a single incident is the basis for a complaint to an employer, not a lawsuit. However, if the misconduct continues or worsens, and if steps aren’t taken to improve the workplace atmosphere by your employer, you should consult with an experienced sexual harassment attorney to help protect your rights.
How Diana Taylor Is in a Position to Help
Not only does Diana have a well-deserved reputation as a sharp and savvy attorney, but she is also empathic. She knows how awful it is to be put in a position where you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your peace of mind, or between engaging in a courtroom battle or having your company’s reputation and financial stability damaged.
She is always willing to counsel you, even if it is to evaluate whether or not you have a viable claim. She will listen to you without judgment and answer any questions you may have, and she will examine the evidence of your case. Most importantly, she will always be on your side, whether by carefully negotiating a settlement or fighting vigorously for your rights in a court of law.
Contact Our Deerfield Sexual Harassment Attorney
Whether you have been sexually harassed or have been wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, you are no doubt feeling vulnerable. We can offer you the feeling of empowerment that comes with taking legal action. By retaining Diana’s services, you put yourself in the driver’s seat and your harasser or accuser on the defensive. Make the first step. Contact S.T. Legal Group today for an evaluation of your case.