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Posted On: March 23, 2011 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Former Grayville Illinois Mayor Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $17,500

Former Grayville Illinois Mayor Henry S. Kijonka paid $17,500 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving former city employee Shelly Osborne. The city ended up paying the settlement amount which is common in these types of cases. According to published accounts Osborne alleged that on a number of occasions Kijonka came up behind her and kissed her on the neck, massaged her shoulders and reached his hands down the front of her sweater.

A problem that can arise in a case like this is witnesses. Many times the person doing the harassment will do it one-on-one and there won't be anyone to witness what took place. I suspect because of the low settlement amount, that is what happened here. I am glad to see Osborne file a complaint and hold the Mayor accountable. Hopefully, the city puts in place a sexual harassment policy and better supervises its' employees.

This type of behavior can create a hostile work environment and affects all employees. In Illinois, one can first file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Often once an employee comes forward they are the victims of retaliation because the superiors don't want anyone rocking the boat. It is very important to not fold and pursue a claim if this happens to you.

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