by Amy S. Cramer, J.D., LL.M.
Today, Ashley Judd filed a lawsuit alleging Harvey Weinstein torpedoed her career after she rebuffed his advances. She alleges that she was up for a part in 2001’s Lord of the Rings, but Weinstein told Director Peter Jackson that Judd was “a nightmare” who should be avoided “at all costs.” See NYT article here.
Retaliation from rebuffing a superior’s sexual advances can come in many powerful, but subtle ways. No space for you at the table at an office party, missing a meeting because the invite was “accidentally” never sent, etc.
But what is legally actionable? Here in Illinois, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act, a plaintiff must show that a reasonable jury weighing the evidence as a whole could find that she 1) engaged in a protected activity; 2) suffered an adverse employment action; 3) there was a causal connection between the two. Williams v. Office of Chief Judge of Cook Cnty. Ill., 839 F.3d 617, 627 (7th Cir. 2016).