Articles Posted in Sexual Orientation

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Sexual Orientation Cases At The Illinois Department Of Human Rights

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So you have been the victim of discrimination based on your sexual orientation. Your boss doesn’t want to help and you feel like there is nowhere left to turn. What if anything can you do about it? Under the law in Illinois, you have a right to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). The IDHR will investigate the complaint within one-year. This will put pressure on the company to settle the case in most instances.

Sometimes it is hard to get evidence to support your sexual orientation claim. Some common types of evidence are text messages, emails and any witnesses who wish to come forward. Be aware, that even though people witness what is taking place, sometimes they are reluctant to come forward. At the end of the day, the burden is on you to prove your discrimination case. The best way to accomplish that is to contact an experienced employment lawyer.

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What Can I Do If My Co-Workers Keep Calling Me Gay At Work?

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So your co-workers found out you are gay and they keep pestering you at work. You ask them to stop but they won’t. The nasty homophobic comments are making it uncomfortable and are creating a hostile work environment. What, if anything, can you do? Well, you have rights at work, and those rights include being free from any form of discrimination. You should report this conduct to top management or human resources. Also, if you have a policy against discrimination, follow the policy for reporting the conduct.

You should also contact an employment lawyer who concentrates in sexual orientation cases. He can advise you on how best to proceed. If the need arises, he can also file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). The IDHR will conduct an investigation into the alleged conduct and allow you some relief. The most important thing to do is something. Don’t sit by and let this conduct continue.

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Sexual Orientation Cases On The Rise In Illinois

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It is my opinion that discrimination based on sexual orientation is on the rise in Illinois. My Chicago office is getting more calls from the LGBT community which indicates a rise in discriminatory conduct. One of the biggest issues that takes places is name calling. I know this sounds very juvenile but it seems to happen more than one would think. Now in many of these types of cases the comments are made one-on-one. This makes it hard to prove but not impossible.

The most important thing to do is contact an employment lawyer who regularly files complaints with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). Also recently the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) recognized transgendered as a category for discrimination. This allows you even more options if you believe you are the victim of discrimination in Illinois.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination At The IDHR

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So you are the victim of sexual orientation discrimination at work in Chicago and don’t know what to do. Well after speaking with an attorney who has experience in discrimination and employment matters I suggest filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). The IDHR will as a matter of law investigate the claim and make a determination of substantial evidence or lack thereof. This is an important step but because of a change to the law a few years ago, it is not as important as it once was. At one time if you had a finding of lack of substantial evidence you case ended, that isn’t the case now.

Now you can file directly in the local circuit court for either a jury trial or one in front of a judge after getting a lack of substantial evidence ruling. This gives a person more flexibility and gives the IDHR investigator less power. An experienced lawyer can give you the pros and cons on filing in the local circuit court. It is very important for you to save any evidence you may have. This will of course include text massages and emails. You should not wait too long to complain about the sexual orientation discrimination either. There are strict time limits in place for filing a complaint with the IDHR.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination In Chicago

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If you are gay or even perceived as gay in Chicago and are being treated differently that other employees you probably have a sexual orientation discrimination claim. You may not be treated under the law because of either your sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. Usually there are negative comments associated with this type of discrimination and the best prove you will have are these comments. Please save all text messages, emails and any voice mails. Also, sometimes people will make these types of comments in front of other employees–try and get a statement from them or their agreement to come forward with you.

In Illinois you must report the discrimination to management or human resources. Once you come forward, the company must stop the discrimination or they will have liability. Also if the company takes any negative action against you for coming forward you will have a second claim of retaliation. It is very important for you to speak with an experienced employment lawyer to discuss the details of your case.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination In Illinois

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So you are working hard in Chicago and there is a problem. You are gay and don’t think that is a work issue but now it seems to be. The job promotion you were a lock for was given to someone else. You are more qualified and all of your job performance evaluations have been great. The boss has made anti-gay remarks in the past and you believe that is the reason you have been passed by for promotion. What if anything can you do? Sounds like you may have a case of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

You can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). The IDHR is mandated by law to complete a thorough investigation within one-year. The advantage to filing with the IDHR is that cost if free. Also, the investigators do a good job and the one-year time frame if pretty short. If you file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) you can expect a much longer investigation period. Any documented evidence will certainly help your case as will eyewitness testimony. Don’t be afraid to come forward if you believe you are being discriminated against based on your sexual orientation.

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Chicago Sees Increase In Hostile Work Environments At Work

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My Chicago office is seeing a rise in the the number of reported hostile work environments created by bosses. Employees seem to be under a great deal of stress due to bosses who are engaging in discrimination and other conduct that leaves employees seeking out legal advice. So what is a hostile work environment in Chicago? Under the law if you are the victim of discrimination and the discriminatory conduct creates an atmosphere of hostility, fear or stress that a reasonable person would find objectionable–it is a hostile work environment. The underlying discrimination could be sexual harassment, or discrimination based on sexual orientation to name a few.

So what can you do if this is happening to you? You should document what is happening and gather as much evidence as possible. Save emails, text messages, voice mails and note the names of any other employees who witnessed what is taking place. Additionally, seek out an experienced lawyer who concentrates on employment law. The most important thing to do is something. There are very strict time limits that apply to employment discrimination cases. Make sure you don’t let yourself fall victim to this type of activity.

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Where Do You File A Sexual Orientation Discrimination Charge In Illinois?

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As an employee for a company in Illinois you have certain rights. You have the right to be free from any type of discrimination while working. This includes discrimination based on your sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. The only thing people at work should concern themselves with is how well you do your job and your job qualifications. It is fine to check out your background to make sure your education transcripts are accurate and your previous work experience is honest. But what you do in the bedroom should not come into play.

If you believe you are the victim of sexual orientation discrimination you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). They will conduct an investigation into the complaint, free of charge. However, you should contact an aggressive employment lawyer to make sure your rights are protected and you fill out the paperwork properly. Most will not charge you anything upfront and will work on a percentage of what is recovered. You can bet the company will have legal advice and a legal team working for them, you should too.

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Transgender Discrimination In Illinois

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Recently the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) began enforcing federal discrimination law as it applies to employees who are transgender. This is good news for employees who for many years did not have any protection at work. Now if you are being discriminated against because of this category you can file a complaint with the EEOC and seek damages. In Illinois you can also file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) for discrimination based on sexual orientation. Because of this, many transgender cases were brought before the IDHR under that category.

However, now someone can file in federal court after getting a right to sue letter from the EEOC. This allows an employee more options. One reason an employee may wish to file in federal court are that statutory limits may be higher and the employee may get more money if he wins his case. The most important thing for an employee to do is contact an experienced employment attorney and discuss the case. The company will always have legal advice and you should too.

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Retaliation At Work For Posting Facebook Pictures

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So you work in downtown Chicago and you have been posting pictures on your Facebook account. The pictures show you and your boyfriend partying on the weekend. The problem is your boss sees them and now realizes you are gay and he is a bit of a homophobe. You now notice that he treats you different at work and he seems to be giving you negative feedback on all your projects. What should you do about this. Well the good news is that in Illinois you have protection at work from discrimination based on sexual orientation. You can’t be treated different simply because of your sexual orientation.

Additionally, if after either complaining about the discrimination or after the boss finds out and negative things happen to you at work, you could have an additional complaint of retaliation. So what should you do if this is happening to you in Chicago? Contact an attorney who concentrates in discrimination cases. You can be the company is going to hire an employment lawyer and if you don’t have your own lawyer you will be at a great disadvantage. Most good employment lawyers will work on contingency fee basis so you won’t have to dig into your savings. Remember to save as many documents as possible that will help prove your case.