Despite the advances made by the “me too” movement, sexual harassment continues in the workplace today almost as bad as it did 20 years ago. That is the bad news. The good news is that most employers now take it seriously when employees report sexual harassment. Today, it is much more likely that a supervisor or manager will get fired when employees speak out about workplace harassment. Gone are the days when such claims would be swept under the rug. In Illinois, there is more good news for employees. Recently enacted laws expand employer liability for harassment to even small employers that are exempt from liability under federal law. Illinois employers can also be held liable for harassment to independent contractors. However, many women, and sometimes men as well, are afraid to speak up and sometimes quit their jobs without making a complaint to human resources. Sometimes employees are made to feel that they are the problem, or they fear being judged. It can also just be embarrassing to discuss such matters with an attorney. When abusers go unpunished, the abuser only becomes more bold and entitled. Not reporting harassment, and not bringing your complaint to the EEOC or Illinois Department of Human Rights, allows the abuse to continue. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, the statute of limitations is generally only 300 days. Do not delay speaking to a lawyer. It is best to speak to a lawyer to protect your rights and to protect you from retaliation. By taking action against workplace abusers, you protect other employees who will be harassed by this same abuser. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, do not hesitate to call.

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