Sexual Harassment Cases

Helpful Tips: Sexual Harassment & Wrongful Termination

Chicago Sexual Harassment Attorney

Many of the firm's cases involve sexual harassment and wrongful termination. The following are some helpful tips based on our experience.

1. If you are thinking about resigning from your job because you are being sexually harassed or because you think you are about to be terminated, consult with an attorney first. Resigning from your job may diminish or eliminate the value of any claim you may have against your employer.

2. If your employer has decided to terminate you, you may suddenly be escorted from the building. Therefore, if you believe you are about to be terminated, delete any personal emails that you consider to be confidential, and quietly remove your personal belongings and documents that belong to you, as you may be suddenly escorted from the workplace.

3. Make sure that you only remove items that belong to you; do not take any property or documents that belong to your employer, even if you believe that doing so will help you prove your claim(s). Accessing records or removing items that are not yours may provide your employer with reasonable grounds to fire you, which may dramatically affect any claim that you may have against your employer. If you are unsure whether certain documents belong to you, seek advice from an attorney before removing them from the workplace.

4. Remember that Illinois is an employment at-will state, which means that your employer may terminate you for any reason at all, except for an illegal reason, even if it is unfair. An employer may not fire an employee for reporting sexual harassment or for filing a sexual discrimination claim, but in Illinois, there is no law against unfairness.

5. Even if your employer or manager or a co-worker treats you harshly or is hostile or rude to you because you have reported sexual harassment or have filed a claim, remain respectful. The things you say and do may be used against you later in litigation.

6. Do not delay in seeking legal counsel. The law requires that charges of sexual harassment be filed with an administrative agency within a set time; otherwise, the claim will be barred. Under federal law, you must file charges with the EEOC within 300 days of when you know or should have known that you were being discriminated or retaliated against. Under Illinois state law, the limitations period is 180 days from the time you knew or should have known that you were discriminated or retaliated against. If you do not file charges within the time allowed by law (known as the statute of limitations period), your claim may no longer be actionable.

7. The Illinois Personnel Records Review Act provides that you may request a copy of your personnel records during the time you are employed and for the first year after you leave an employer. Your employer must provide then your personnel record to you within 7 days of your written request. These records may prove valuable in your case. Consult an employment law attorney to determine the best time to make this request.

8. If your employer has told you that you will be terminated if you do not resign, and you do resign, you may still be entitled to unemployment compensation unless you engaged in some type of misconduct. Your lawyer can help determine if you are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.

9. Losing your job may be extremely stressful, but remember that your employer's conduct does not necessarily reflect your worth as an employee. Even the most capable employees may be terminated for reasons that have nothing to do with their abilities, performance, or worth.

The firm and staff represents and counsels executives and employees throughout the greater Chicago area in cases of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination.

Contact the Law Offices of Fern Trevino to learn what services we provide and how we can assist you.

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