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Sexual Harassment Information
The following information can be located on the Illinois Department of Human Rights website.
Helpline (877) 236-7703
What is Sexual Harassment?
Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, “Sexual harassment” means any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any conduct of a sexual nature when:
•submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment,
•submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
•such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Types of Unlawful Sexual Harassment:
1.Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment. “You do something for me, and I’ll do something for you.” This means that a manager or supervisor may not tell an employee that in order to receive a promotion, raise, preferred assignment, or other type of job benefit – or to avoid something negative like discipline or an unpleasant assignment – the employee must do something sexual in return.
2.Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment. “The air at work is full of sexual references and it is impacting me.” A hostile work environment may occur when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any conduct of a sexual nature has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
What Constitutes Unwelcome Behavior?
•Sexual conduct becomes sexual harassment when the behavior is unwelcome. Behavior may be unwelcome in the sense that the victim did not solicit or invite it, or in the sense that the victim regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive.
•Welcome behavior can quickly become unwelcome behavior. What starts off as welcome behavior (consensual joking) can cross a line and become unwelcome behavior.
•Also, consent can be revoked at any time. When someone experiencing sexual harassment behavior says, ”stop talking to me like this” it must stop. The perpetrator cannot use it as a defense ”Well you started it.” or “You were ok with it at first.”
•An employee’s “working environment” is not limited to the physical location where the employee is assigned. The “working environment” extends to other worksites including off-site, mobile or moving worksites/locations.
•For example, a “working environment” includes the courthouse for a lawyer, or an off-site event for a caterer.
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation:
•A person can be the victim of sexual harassment regardless of the victim’s gender identity or the perpetrator’s gender identity.
•A person can be the victim of sexual harassment regardless of the victim’s sexual orientation or the perpetrator’s sexual orientation.