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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