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Workplace Discrimination Is Illegal and Should Be Investigated

In Illinois, it is illegal to discriminate in the workplace. If you have been a victim of discrimination, call an experienced Chicago employment lawyer.

In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to discriminate against anyone because of:

  • Their race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Age 40 or over
  • Military service
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Citizenship status
  • Physical handicap
  • Mental handicap
  • Ancestry
  • Unfavorable military discharge

If you work in Illinois, you are protected from anyone discriminating against you, for any reason, and for all of the conditions of your employment. That would include, but may not be limited to:

  • Transfer
  • Pay
  • Tenure
  • Selection
  • Harassment
  • Promotion
  • Demotion
  • Performance assessment
  • Employment conditions
  • Seniority
  • Union representation
  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Layoffs

Not sure how to figure out if there is discrimination in your workplace? Take a look around you and watch how people are treated. You can often figure out if someone is being discriminated against by how they are treated. For example, sexual discrimination often takes place in the form of unwelcome and unwanted sexual advances, asking for sexual favors, or if a superior suggests a person’s position at a company is dependent upon the person having sex with the supervisor/manager. That kind of conduct violates anti-discrimination laws if it gets in the way of job performance or creates a hostile, offensive or intimidating work environment.

There are other forms of discrimination, and one of them relates to an employer not providing a reasonable accommodation for a worker. This can include if someone needs a special monitor to do their job or a certain kind of desk with more space to perform their tasks. Interestingly, this reasonable accommodation provision is also applicable to a person’s religion. This is not to say that a company has to hire those not otherwise qualified for a job, but that they need to make reasonable accommodations whenever it would not cause undue hardship for the employer.

If you are an employer and not clear on what you need to do in the workplace with regard to discrimination, make it a point to contact an experienced Chicago employment lawyer. It is vital you get the right kind of information about discrimination and how to avoid running afoul of the law. Your Chicago employment lawyer has many years in the trenches handling cases dealing with discrimination. You could not ask for better legal counsel.

Timothy Coffey is a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment lawyer</a> and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment attorney</a>, visit Employmentlawcounsel.com.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at 7:39 pm and is filed under Discrimination
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Illinois Employers Are Liable For Supervisor Conduct Toward Workers

When it comes to sexual harassment, Illinois employers are deemed responsible for a supervisor’s actions towards an employee.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that an employer is responsible for sexual harassment of an employee by a supervisor, even if that worker is not under his or her direct command. Or to put it another way, if a manager/supervisor makes advances toward any worker, not just one who works directly for them, it is still considered to be sexual harassment.

This is an important ruling and means that Illinois company owners must train their staff, including managers, on how to prevent sexual harassment in their workplace and how to avoid a hostile work environment as a result of the harassment. This ruling was handed down in Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department v. Illinois Human Rights Commission; a ruling that stated the employer is strictly liable for any manager’s or supervisor’s actions.

Part of this significant case involved a close look at the federal law in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which indicates that a person is not a supervisor unless they have direct authority over a victim’s employment status. The Illinois Human Rights Act does have this restriction, and their stated position is that employers are liable for the actions and conduct of every supervisor towards all employees in the company.

In Sangamon, a female records clerk filed a sexual harassment and retaliation complaint against the sheriff’s department. She stated a sergeant in the department, not her direct supervisor, was harassing her. In this case, the initial lawsuit was filed against the supervisor and the sheriff’s department.

The accused male harasser opted to settle out of court, thus dismissing him from the case, and leaving the department on the hook. The courts found the employer strictly liable for the man’s behavior even though she did not work directly under his authority. This ruling is important, as it, in effect, stretches out or expands the meaning of strict liability under Illinois law.

It should be mentioned that strict liability in this case means that the sheriff’s department was liable for the sexual harassment even if they did not know about it, and this applies whether the harassment was a hostile work environment or unwanted and unwelcome sexual come-ons. The court awarded the victim $23,000; $13,000 in court fees and $10,000 in damages.

Every case in this area of the law is different, and for this reason, if you have been in a similar situation in your workplace, call an experienced Chicago employment lawyer for advice and legal counsel. If you want to know what your rights are in situations like this one, or similar scenarios, the call you make to a Chicago employment lawyer will give you enough information to decide what you would like to do with your potential case.

Timothy Coffey is a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment lawyer</a> and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment attorney</a>, visit Employmentlawcounsel.com.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 3:15 am and is filed under Employment Law
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Sheriff Deputy Allegedly Sexually Harassed Plaintiff

The plaintiff in this case filed a complaint about unwanted sexual advances.

In this case, The Sangamon Country Sheriff’s Department, Petitioner-Appellant v. The State of Illinois Human Rights Commission; Donna Feleccia, and Ron Yanor, Respondents-Appellees, 875 N.E.2d 10 (2007) 375 Ill. App.3d 834, No. 4-06-0445, the Sheriff’s department appealed an order of the Illinois Human Rights Commission that found the department strictly liable for Ron Yanor’s sexual harassment of Donna Feleccia. The court reversed.

The facts of this case are that in 1999 Feleccia filed a discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Commission stating that she had been sexually harassed as retaliatory punishment and harassed in a way that created a hostile work environment.

In 2000, the Commission filed a four count complaint against the Sheriff’s Department that stated, among other things, that Feleccia said no to a request by Yanor to have sex with him and that Yanor wrote a fictitious letter to her that indicated she may have come into contact with a sexually transmitted disease and that the Department harassed her in retaliation for saying no to unwanted sexual advances.

Further unwanted sexual behavior on Yanor’s part was outlined, and included kissing Feleccia and delivering a coffee cup with candy in it to her home. All these actions, in sum, created a hostile work environment and the count further alleged the Department was strictly liable for Yanor’s actions because he was a manager.

The Sheriff’s Department said they were not strictly liable and replied by saying that the woman had not used the complaint procedure in place, and that she had not reported any of the incidents that happened outside the workplace. Furthermore, the Department had taken disciplinary action against Yanor for writing the fictitious letter about sexually transmitted diseases. Yanor and the woman settled, but the case remained in place against the Sheriff’s Department.

There was a hearing in this case with an Administrative Law Judge, who issued a decision recommending that the sexual harassment and retaliation claims be dismissed with prejudice. He suggested that the woman had not been able to prove a prima facie case of sexual harassment, because she did not show the man’s conduct had the intent or effect of interfering with her work performance or creating a hostile work environment.

The judge further suggested that she had also not proven the retaliation claim, as the record did not show any protests relating to sexual harassment. He also pointed out that the man did not have supervisory duties over the woman, and that the 180-day timeframe for reporting sexual harassment claims was not met. The Human Rights Commission disagreed with the decision made by the administrative law judge.

In fact, the Commission said the incidents cited by the woman were sexual harassment by a supervisor with a physical threat of force and a forcible request for sex in a motel. They found that Yanor’s conduct and the forged letter relating to sexually transmitted diseases did interfere with the woman’s work and created a hostile workplace. In short, they found there was sexual harassment and that the Sheriff’s Department was strictly liable for the man’s behavior because he had the authority to affect the woman’s work conditions due to his position. The Commission could not conclude the harassment was retaliatory.

Again, this is a very complex case dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. It also points out quite clearly that if there is a procedure in place for someone alleging harassment, workers need to follow the procedure and report any unwanted behavior. In this instance, the case was proven indirectly, but there was the real possibility that it could have gone either way.

If you think you are being sexually harassed at work, if the environment there is hostile and another’s behavior is offensive, do not waste any time wondering what to do about it. Call an experienced Chicago employment lawyer. A qualified attorney will have decades of practice and will know precisely what to do in situations that indeed may be classified as sexual harassment. Without a seasoned Chicago employment attorney to protect your rights, you may find the battle for workplace equity lost.

Timothy Coffey is a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment lawyer</a> and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment attorney</a>, visit Employmentlawcounsel.com.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 at 7:27 pm and is filed under Harassment
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Plaintiff Appealed Retaliation Case to Supreme Court of Illinois

In this employment case, the plaintiff filed claims of retaliation in the workplace.

This is an interesting case and serves as a tool to show that when filing a complaint through the Human Rights Commission, the wording and content of the complaint are very important. The case is Blount v. Stroud et al. 904 N.E.2d 1 (2009) 232 Ill. 2d 302 No. 10557, appealed to the Supreme Court of Illinois.

In this instance, the plaintiff, Jerri Blount, appealed a judgment by a lower court reversing a multimillion dollar jury award relating to her federal and state retaliation claims against the defendants Stroud and Jovon Broadcasting. The core issue was whether or not Blount’s only source of redress was via the administrative procedures laid out in the Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 (West 2000)).

In 2001, the plaintiff filed several complaints against the defendants. At issue in the Illinois Supreme Court were counts three and five. In count three, the plaintiff stated the defendants wrongfully dismissed her, violating the federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C. § 1981 (2000)). It appeared the issue was that defendant Stroud retaliated against plaintiff Blount because she stood up for a coworker in a federal discrimination suit against Jovon Broadcasting. Both plaintiff and defendants were African-American and the coworker was Caucasian.

It appeared that Blount was a witness to some behavior the coworker was subjected to and that Blount said her complaints had merit. Blount also told her boss, Stroud, she would testify for the coworker. However her boss said to stay out of the situation and be quiet. Blount thought that was the wrong thing to do and testified for her coworker. She was threatened, intimidated, suspended and fired in October 2000.

In relation to count five, which was tied directly to count three, it was indicated in court that witnesses must testify truthfully and that perjury is a criminal offense. Because the plaintiff refused to tell a lie in court about her coworker, the management fired her.

At trial, defendants stated the lower circuit court did not have jurisdiction to judge the plaintiff’s retaliation claims, saying the claim fell under the prohibitions in the Act (see 775 ILCS 5/6-101(A) (West 2000)), and that she had to seek a resolution through the Act’s administrative procedures.

Further, defense counsel said the plaintiff’s claims were linked to a civil rights violation and therefore the Act preempted the claims. The court rejected those arguments and focused on complaint five. On the retaliation claim, the jury found for the plaintiff back pay in the amount of $257,350, a pain and suffering award of $25,000 and punitive damages for $2.8 million. After the trial it was argued, among other things, the circuit court did not have jurisdiction. The appellate court reversed.

When this case reached the Illinois Supreme Court, the court reversed the judgment of the appellate court. In other words, they held that the circuit court did have jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claim and they reversed the judgment of the appellate court and remanded the matter back to that court.

It is quite evident that retaliation claims and wrongful dismissal issues can be incredibly complex. Consequently, how they are filed is of vital importance, and this is something that a Chicago employment lawyer will attend to when filing such a complaint. If you are not sure whether or not you may have a case, make a call to an experienced Chicago employment attorney and discuss your situation.

Timothy Coffey is a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment lawyer</a> and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a <a href=”http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com”>Chicago employment attorney</a>, visit Employmentlawcounsel.com.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 7:27 pm and is filed under News and Press
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Religious Harassment and Discrimination is Prohibited says Chicago Employment Lawyer

It should go without saying that religious discrimination and harassment is prohibited. Sadly, this still happens today.

“Religious discrimination may come in many forms, and to the employee, it may not seem like discrimination at first, until they begin to see a pattern. For instance, religious discrimination may come when you are denied the right to take holidays. You may be told something like: ‘Just for this year, we need you to fill in for someone,’ and you comply. However, you notice that over the year, when your religion has holidays, there is always a reason why you are not granted those days off,” said Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace.

This form of discrimination can be subtle. It may involve the employer denying a worker the right to keep weekly religious holidays by not scheduling around those days when it is reasonable to do that. For instance, if the employee is a shift worker, and his or her religious holiday is a Saturday, and the company continually schedules the person to work that day despite others being available to take that shift, it may be discrimination.

“Denying an employee a promotion because of their religion or religious affiliation is discrimination, as is not hiring the most qualified individual because of their religion,” Coffey said. “It goes further than the employer. It involves the workplace itself, and if there is harassment or the creation of a hostile workplace due to co-worker’s, this too is discrimination.”

Unfortunately, since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, there has been a significant increase in discrimination against people of Middle Eastern lineage. This has snowballed into discrimination in many forms against those who are confirmed Muslims, and those who are perceived as Muslims.

“While it is not fair and is illegal, it is still happening. What people fail to take into consideration is that you can’t brand a whole race for the acts of a few. For Muslims or Middle Eastern individuals who are enduring hostile workplaces, it may help you to call an experienced Chicago employment lawyer and find out your rights,” Coffey said. “My office is capable of handling any type of religious discrimination and will represent clients from all religious backgrounds, provided they have a case.”

“Just one word of advice for those who may be experiencing religious harassment and discrimination at work – report it to a supervisor. Keep records, read your company handbook and know where you stand. Having a verbal and/or paper trail in cases like this is important. Do not wait to report it. Act immediately to get assistance with the harassment. If this does not work, then please, call my office and we can discuss your circumstances,” Coffey said.

Timothy J. Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer with, and owner of, The Coffey Law Office, P.C., a Chicago employment litigation firm. To learn more, visit http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 8:02 pm and is filed under News and Press
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The EEOC Is Dead Serious About Stamping Out Sexual Harassment Indicates Chicago Employment Lawyer

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is making great inroads in stamping out sexual harassment in workplaces.

“Sexual harassment is never acceptable in any form in the workplace. Anyone that feels they have been the victim of such inappropriate behavior needs to contact a highly trained Chicago employee litigation attorney to get to the bottom of the situation,” said Timothy J. Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer with, and owner of, The Coffey Law Office, P.C.

While individual cases dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace seem to be more prevalent, they are also the focus of a drive by the EEOC to stamp it out. In fact, one of their latest cases deals with two Florida-based companies who were caught on the wrong side of the laws relating to sexual workplace harassment.

The case is interesting in that it highlights what the EEOC is attempting to achieve for workers across the nation. It is cases like this that are used as examples in court should a lawyer in another jurisdiction have the need to try a similar case. It also demonstrates that legally speaking, sexual workplace harassment is not to be tolerated in any form and there are consequences for crossing over the line.

The case on point here was filed against two Florida companies – Cobra Pavers & Engineering, Inc. and Cobra Construction. Apparently, Cobra managers made it a habit to harass female office workers in such as manner as to create a sexually hostile work environment. They told jokes, made denigrating remarks about women, bandied inappropriate sexual remarks about on a daily basis and took great delight in telling stories about sexual adventures and exploits. The sexual harassment was not just verbal; it included very unwelcome sexual touching.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit and won; a situation that will see Cobra pay $125,000 to settle the lawsuit. In addition, they have also agreed to revise both company’s sexual harassment policies, offer training to workers and management, post a notice about the case and the settlement and report any future discrimination complaints to the EEOC.

“If this can happen in Florida, it can happen in Chicago,” said Coffey, “which is why employment lawyers stay up-to-date on the latest cases in this area. It’s highly sensitive and in many cases, workers in that type of a situation have no place to turn to for help. That is my job, to help people deal with situations like this.”

Timothy J. Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer with, and owner of, The Coffey Law Office, P.C., a Chicago employment litigation firm. To learn more, visit http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com

This entry was posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 6:59 pm and is filed under News and Press
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Be Honest with Employment Law Counsel about the Nature of Workplace Harassment Says Chicago Employment Lawyer

Lack of honesty when discussing your case with counsel may result in unexpected results.

“You need to be cautious about filing a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit, as this kind of a suit may go both ways,” said Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “Let me make my point by using a recent case as an example.”

The case happened in Iowa when Jane Doe got a job at a local store sorting nuts and bolts. She worked in the plant four years and came to the conclusion that she was the focal point of sexual harassment in her workplace. Various co-workers were apparently involved, but there was one worker who not only insulted Doe, but her husband as well.

Deciding that she had had enough of what was going on at work, she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit and alleged that the co-worker she was complaining about would make sure he was always close to her so that he had to brush up against her privates and vice versa. Offensive off-color jokes were the order of the day.

The company took the initiative to conduct its own investigation into this matter and did indeed come to the conclusion that there was a hostile work environment and that most of the allegations that Doe filed could be confirmed. “However, the investigation also revealed that the sexual harassment between the two co-workers was mutual and in direct violation of company policy. Both workers were suspended for five days and the male worker was transferred,” Coffey said.

At trial, the Eighth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals said that an internal investigation would many times turn up conflicting evidence that necessitates someone making a judgment about credibility. The company, in this instance, had to choose among various bits of information to arrive at a good faith conclusion. Accordingly, Doe was suspended for her misconduct and not because she complained. The court concluded the company’s response had been appropriate.

“As you can see, there is a very important distinction to be made in this case and that is the female worker was suspended for her conduct in violation of company policy, not because she filed a sexual harassment complaint. For those in a similar situation, it is vital to be completely honest with your employment counsel, or the results in court may not be what you expect them to be,” Coffey said.

Timothy J. Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer with, and owner of, The Coffey Law Office, P.C., a Chicago employment litigation firm. To learn more, visit http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com

This entry was posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 6:58 pm and is filed under News and Press
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Bad Credit History is a New Form of Discrimination

A company is not allowed to refuse to hire Latinos or blacks because of a criminal record or bad credit.

In a recent move to even greater equity in the workplace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is warning companies that they may not use credit history information as criteria for hiring or firing. This comes about as a result of the EEOC suing Kaplan Higher Education Corp. for doing precisely that – using credit history information that had a major “disparate impact on black job applicants.”

Another of the EEOCs lawsuits is against Freeman Cos., sued for using criminal records and credit checks to screen applicants for their national events and exhibition marketing company. The EEOC is bound and determined to erase racism and “colorism” from the workplace. And if the statistics are any indication, they have their work cut out for them, as the number of workplace discrimination suits shot up to 99,922 in 2010.

These particular lawsuits are the tip of the iceberg in an initiative to dissolve what is referred to as arbitrary barriers for minorities to find work. Is this controversial? Yes, because the lack definition of what has an adverse effect on blacks and other minorities has always been a hot button and the focal point of disputes. It is one facet of discrimination law that troubles many Chicago employment lawyers and the courts.

The EEOC indicates that things such as background checks may wrongly exclude a large majority of minority job applicants. On the other side of the fence, many employment lawyers feel that if the criteria for hiring is not racially motivated and it is used for everyone who applies for a job, then it is not racially discriminatory. Put another way, it is not anyone else’s business (i.e. the government) to try and second-guess hiring practices unless the job applicants are being treated differently because of their race.

Of interest is that the Supreme Court has not viewed the “disparate impact” with any degree of favor over the years. In fact, two years ago, they ruled that the City of New Haven had discriminated against white firefighters who had high scores when it chucked out a promotion test because it had an adverse impact on black firefighters. Unfortunately, the court did not see fit at the time to clarify the issue any further.

Such hiring practices are not inherently illegal even if they do happen to have a negative impact on minorities. But, having said that, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the hiring criteria is necessary for the job being applied for in the first place; something that is not always easy to do.

If you happen to be facing a situation that you feel is adversely affecting your ability to get a job, then you need to speak to a highly qualified Chicago employment lawyer. You need to find out your rights, how the law as it exists applies to your case and what your options are in dealing with your situation.

Timothy Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a Chicago employment attorney, visit Employmentlawcounsel.com.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 5:02 pm and is filed under Discrimination
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Religious Discrimination Becoming a Potential Landmine

Reverse discrimination is becoming a potential landmine of legal issues. Laws to protect the rights of minorities may result in discrimination against others.

In a rather unusual case reported in the media, a relationship counselor was dismissed when he said he would not provide sex therapy for a homosexual couple. The counselor felt that the Bible’s point of view about homosexuality made it impossible for him to give the two advice. His co-workers deemed that unacceptable and he was fired.

The man took his case to court and stated he was a victim of religious discrimination and had been fired for refusing to act against his beliefs. His claim was not successful and the courts referred to it as irrational and capricious. Pundits watching this case feel that situations like this have the potential to create an imbalance in laws set up to protect the rights of minorities with the end result that those with religious beliefs are discriminated against.

Some regard this ruling as a bellwether signaling the death of religious literacy, because instead of protecting minorities from genuine discrimination, the courts may have created an imbalance in favor of minorities. In this particular case, many feel that the courts are not particularly cognizant of how vital and important religious teachings and convictions are to some individuals, despite the common mores of the rest of society.

Where will this rather new development lead? It is an interesting question and one whose answers likely lies in what society versus the courts feel is relevant and represents reality. The reality of today is that most people accept the fact that gay couples are a part of society. For those that do not accept this precept, their journey is a different one with no clear destination in mind. Reverse discrimination is an issue just beginning to poke its head up in various court cases. How the courts deal with it will be another question.

If you feel you have been a victim of religious discrimination in a similar matter or another form, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Chicago employment lawyer. Discrimination is a very difficult and diverse area of the law and you need to know if your particular situation may be handled in court or through negotiations. Without the assistance of a skilled Chicago employment lawyer, cases like this are difficult to resolve.

Timothy Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. To learn more or to contact a Chicago employment attorney, visit Employmentlawcounsel.com.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 5:03 pm and is filed under Discrimination
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Chicago Employment Lawyer Explains Equal Opportunity Job Openings

A job advertised as an EEO means the company may not discriminate in benefits, payment, firing and other vital areas.

“If you’re looking for a job and find one that indicates it is an equal employment opportunity (EEO), it means that the company cannot discriminate against you in terms of recruitment, training, benefits, payment, firing or hiring. In addition, when the job is posted, that company must post a notice for all workers that outlines their rights under EEO laws,” said Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace.

The EEO laws forbid discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age or sex. In addition, a company cannot refuse to hire or fire someone for not speaking English, unless it is a specific job qualification.

“For example, if a warehouse employee’s job not does not include talking to sales representatives about ordering, they cannot be fired for not speaking English. Put another way, if the company is discriminating against those who do not speak English, they must prove a job absolutely requires English,” Coffey said.

An offshoot of discrimination is often harassment. Harassment may include bullying, name calling, stalking, verbal and non-verbal threats, targeted and offensive teasing and sexual innuendo, assault, lewd gestures and other offensive behaviors. “It is not just women that may be sexually harassed. Men can be as well,” Coffey said.

Workers who are in situations at work where they feel they are being harassed, demeaned, discriminated against, threatened or bullied, need to take their concerns to an expert Chicago employment lawyer. If attempting to deal with the issue by reporting it to management has not resulted in any changes, it may well be time to take legal action.

The law is there to protect those who are being subjected to harassment and discrimination and those laws need to be enforced in workplaces that choose to flaunt the rules and regulations. “Righting a wrong situation in a workplace is often a lot about not only doing it for yourself, but doing it for others who may follow in your footsteps later. Harassment and discrimination are not to be tolerated in today’s working world,” Coffey said.

Timothy J. Coffey is a Chicago employment lawyer with, and owner of, The Coffey Law Office, P.C., a Chicago employment litigation firm. To learn more, visit http://www.employmentlawcounsel.com

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 30th, 2011 at 7:56 pm and is filed under News and Press
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