Sexual Harrassment and Unemployment

I work for a very small company with 4 employees. The owner of the small company I work for has been looking at porn at work. Every time I move from my desk I see awful images. He sometimes does try to hide these images but is unsuccessful most of the time. What can I do about this? Will I be able to collect unemployment? I am also concerned because I don't know if I can afford to collect unemployment if I would even be eligible, not at 47% of my income. What are my options?

4 answers  |  asked Sep 23, 2010 07:30 AM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (4)

Stephen Glickman
Report the sexual harassment to management asap. Follow the reporting procedure contained in any sexual harassment policy the company might have. Report in writing; consult with an employment attorney first.

Don't quit. The company is required to promptly investigate and take appropriate remedial action. If it fails to do so, its liability will increase.

Sexual harassment claims under the Illinois Human Rights Act apply to companies of all sizes--there is no minimum number of employees requirement. There is also individual liability for the sexual harasser. A Charge of sexual harassment must be filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights within 180 days of any violation. Time is of the essence to your claim.

Steve Glickman

posted by Stephen Glickman  |  Sep 23, 2010 09:15 AM [EST]
John Otto
My advice is to first make clear to your employer that your are bothered by the porn and ask him to either change the setup with the computers so you don't have to watch it or stop watching it. I would do that in writing, keeping a copy so that you have proof that you told him. I would keep the writing (letter, email, memo or whatever) very short and to the point. Don't be judgmental; don't be apologetic. Just tell him it's offensive to you and would he please either stop watching it when you're in the office or change the computers so you don't see it. Then, if it continues, you can file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. If he fires you, you should be able to get unemployment and you can file a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights for retaliation. The worst thing to do is to just quit without complaining about it because that would jeopardize both a Human Rights charge and obtaining unemployment benefits.

posted by John Otto  |  Sep 23, 2010 08:03 AM [EST]
Alejandro Caffarelli
If you are interested in scheduling a free initial over the phone screening, please do not hesitate to contact me directly to arrange a date and time for a screening.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, I may be reached at (312) 540-1230.

posted by Alejandro Caffarelli  |  Sep 23, 2010 07:49 AM [EST]
Kristen Prinz
You may have claims relating to sexual harassment, but we would need more information to answer your question.

Federal and state sexual harassment laws apply to employers with 15 or more employees, but local laws may provide you with some protection.

If you would like to speak with an attorney at our office, please call 312-212-4450.

posted by Kristen Prinz  |  Sep 23, 2010 07:40 AM [EST]

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