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Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment


Sexual harassment in Higher Education is Illegal
The Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act”) prohibits sexual harassment in institutions of higher education. The Act specifically prohibits unwelcome advances or conduct of a sexual nature, and requests for sexual favors of students by an executive, faculty member, administrative staff member, or teaching assistant. Institutions of higher education include public or private universities, colleges, community colleges, junior colleges, business schools, and vocational schools.

Examples of Sexual Harassment in Higher Education:

  • Prohibited behavior includes interfering with the student’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, such as: a professor who continually makes jokes of a sexual nature in the classroom;
  • a registration advisor who tells a student he or she might be able to get into a class if the student dates the advisor;
  • an admissions officer who tells a prospective student that the advisor will put in a “good word” for the prospective student if he or she dates the advisor; or 4) a financial assistance advisor who tells a student that “if you have sex with me, I can look out for scholarships for you” or 5) a teaching assistant who promises a student a better grade if the student does not resist any inappropriate touching or sexual advances.


Protection Against Retaliation:

  • The Human Rights Act also prohibits retaliation against a student for: opposing sexual harassment in higher education;
  • for participating in an investigation (internal or external) of sexual harassment in higher education; or
  • for filing a charge.


What to Do: Any student who believes he or she is being subjected to sexual harassment or retaliated against should report the incident(s) to:

  • If the sexual conduct is criminal in nature, students should report the incident to the local law enforcement agency. The student may also contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights for further information or to file a charge by: Calling the Department at 312-814-6200 (Chicago) or 217-785-5100 (Springfield), 866-740-3953 (TTY); or by
  • Visiting the Department’s website at for information about the charge process


Any charge alleging sexual harassment in higher education must be filed within 180 days of the alleged incident(s). Complaint forms are available on the Department’s website at the following link: The Department may be reached at:



100 W. Randolph Street
10th Floor Intake Unit Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-6200
(866) 740-3953 (TTY)
222 South College Room 101-A Intake Unit Springfield, IL 62704
(217) 785-5100
(866) 740-3953 (TTY)
2309 West Main Street Suite 112 Intake Unit Marion, IL 62959
(618) 993-7463
(866) 740-3953 (TTY)


The charge process may be initiated by completing the form at:

(775 ILCS 5/) Illinois Human Rights Act

  • Sexual Harassment