Posted On: April 9, 2013

Hostile Work Environments In Chicago Suburbs

There are many different forms of discrimination. I get a great deal of calls from the suburbs of Chicago asking relatively the same question. My boss is having a sexual relationship with a co-worker and as a result I believe she gets treated much better and is getting promoted because of it. What if anything can I do? The short answer is that this type of conduct may create a hostile work environment under the law in Illinois. Even though the sex is consensual the fact that the co-worker may be getting a promotion because she is having sex with the boss and you aren't is a form of sexual harassment. Because in the example I just gave, sex is an implicit term of the promotion. Another words, but for the sex, the co-worker would not be getting the promotion.

So what can you do if this is happening to you? I would speak with an employment lawyer at once. If you came to my office, based on these facts I would file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). The IDHR is required by law to investigate the complaint and issue a finding of either substantial evidence or lack thereof. The most important point is to make sure you have as much evidence as possible. Evidence would be other witnesses, text messages, emails and voice mails. Remember if you are claiming they are engaged in a sexual relationship, you must prove it.