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An exemployee is threatening legal action for sexual harassment by a coworker without ever reporting harassment. Can he sue me?

Chicago, IL |

The employee was working, without management present at the time, he claims that the other coworker grabbed his behind so he stopped working and walked out. He did not come back to work or notify management of any issue for 4 days. At the end of the 4th day he comes in to work and claims sexual harassment and threatens legal action. He also says he doesn't want his job back. I told him that if it happened and he was uncomfortable with the situation that I was very sorry and that if he had told me I would have addressed it and remedied the situation immediately. When asked why he didn't speak with me or come in sooner his answer was that he was busy. The coworker claims that he did not touch the mans behind to begin with. I paid him back wages and wished him luck.

Attorney Answers 3


He cannot sue you or your company for sexual harassment without first filing a charge of discrimination with a state or federal agency. As to his likelihood of prevailing, from your description of the facts it sounds highly unlikely. You may want to discuss this was an employment attorney to look at taking proactive steps. Many of us will provide a free consultation.

This answer is provided by The Law Offices Of Josh Friedman--312-886-0277. This answer is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. You should be aware that no attorney-client relationship is established through this answer and none will be established without a personal consultation and the signing of an engagement agreement.

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Additional information is needed such as the number of employees your business employs, whether you have a sexual harassment policy, whether the alleged harassor is a supervisor or manager, and more. Federal and Illinois law differ on sexual harassment. Under Illinois law, there is strict liability for sexual harassment committed by a supervisor or manager. Under federal law, there is a strong defense to unreported claims of sexual harassment.

This answer is solely for general informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and shall not be relied upon by any person. Receipt or review of this answer shall not establish any attorney-client relationship.

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More information is needed. The best advice would be to set an appointment with an attorney who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases. Then after a thorough review of all of the facts, they can give you an opinion as to what procedural steps, if any, that you should take, and if you have any legal exposure. I would suggest that you begin your search for an attorney on this Avvo website. There is a tab "Find A Lawyer" on the home page of Avvo at that will help you find a lawyer in this practice area in your locale. Good luck!

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