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Sexual Harassment Client Wins $102,641 in Emotional Distress Damages in Addition to Attorney’s Fees and Expenses

 Illinois Human Rights Commission (January 2012)

Our client filed a charge and complaint of sexual harassment against a Financial Corporation. She claimed that she was subjected to sexual harassment at the hands of the president and owner of her employer. Our client claims that the harasser used his position, isolation, alcohol, force and intimidation to trap her in a chair and attempt to forcefully kiss her several times against her will. She also claims that he licked her face and neck while holding her down as she pleaded to let her go. She further claims that he threatened her by saying he can do what he wants and no one would find out because he is bigger than her. Throughout her employment, he commented on women's breasts and legs, discussed sexual intercourse, and used terms such as "cu--," "b----," and "wh---" on a daily basis in our client's presence. Due to the inappropriate and intimidating conduct, our client did not return to her job.

The presiding Honorable Judge found evidence that established that our client was sexually harassed. The judge found the testimony of our client to be credible and the respondent was liable for the harassment because the harasser was in a supervisory role. The judge further ruled that the harassment resulted in mental anguish for our client. In awarding her $95,000 in mental anguish damages, the judge cited evidence that she felt scared, ashamed, embarrassed, and worthless and had nightmares for a few months after the incident. The judge also ruled that Respondent must pay our client her attorney's fees and expenses, amounting to $7,641.

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