What Damages Can You Be Awarded In A Sexual Harassment Case
So my Chicago office gets calls all the time from people who want to know what damages they can recover if they file a sexual harassment case. Well part of the answer will depend on where the sexual harassment case is filed. If you are employed in Chicago you have three choices for filing. You can file with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or the Chicago Commission on Human Relations ("CCHR"). So which agency should you file your case with? Well it will be fact specific but here are some generalizations. As an aside if you file with the IDHR, they automatically cross file with the EEOC so in essence you get a two for one.
Filing with the CCHR gives you something that you can't get from either the IDHR or EEOC--punitive damages. Punitive damages are monies that are given to punish a company or person for the conduct. This type of damage is most suited where the conduct was so egregious that it would shock a normal reasonable person. So for example if the boss called you into his office and pulled out his penis, that would be such behavior. And if the company knew about it and did not take any action, this would raise the amount of money you may get. Otherwise, the IDHR and EEOC have similar forms of damage--except with the EEOC you can get statutory damages based on the number of employees. A good employment attorney can go through this information with you.