Illinois has been besmirched by its fair share of sexual harassment, retaliation, and corruption cases this year. The latest of the bunch to go to trial involved an alleged “aborted forced tryst” between a top state government employee and her assistant.
The plaintiff, Mr. Carlos Estes, alleged that he was sexually harassed by his boss, Ms. Teyonda Wertz, who serves as Chief of Staff to Carol Adams, the head of Illinois’s Human Services Department.
Another Rod Blagojevich Legacy?
Curiously, Carol Adams was hand-picked for her position by former governor Rod Blagojevich, who was driven out of office earlier this year for corruption charges stemming from his illegal and unseemly attempts to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Although the scandal-ridden ex-Governor was not directly implicated in these allegations, the fact that his hand-chosen deputy was (Caroline Adams) has no doubt further tainted the state’s political reputation.
In 2003, so alleged the suit, Ms. Wertz took her assistant and driver, Mr. Estes, with her to an Illinois hotel on a business trip. While the two roomed together, Ms. Wertz allegedly slipped into a sexually provocative dress and ordered her subordinate to “make love to her” or lose his job. Mr. Estes refused to comply; and Ms. Wertz made no further direct sexual aggression. But the matter so disturbed Mr. Estes that he filed a formal complaint with the state. Three weeks later, however, he was dismissed from his job on charges of improperly using a state vehicle.
Mr. Estes argued that he had been fired due to retaliation for filing the harassment and discrimination claim. But the defendants convinced the jury that Mr. Estes had indeed been fired for good cause.
This case illustrates how intricate and layered these kinds of discrimination and retaliation cases can get. To unravel your gender-based harassment or retaliation case, trust the expert attorneys here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum to provide serious, aggressive and knowledgeable support. To learn more about how we can help, please peruse our website at www.JHLLP.com, or call/e-mail us to set up a free consultation.