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What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome and unwanted conduct that is sexual in nature. It is considered a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment specifically: “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be mild to severe and can also range in frequency. Some victims suffer a series of milder transgressions, such as lewd jokes at work, while others suffer a one-time serious incident, such as a violent attack or rape. Regardless of the individual circumstances, sexual harassment is prohibited by Texas state law and federal law and anyone found guilty will be held accountable for their actions.

The following are a few examples of sexual harassment:

• Lew comments or jokes regarding a person’s appearance, body, or general sexual statement
• Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests, in which someone is offered a promotion, raise or other benefit in exchange for sexual favors
• Inappropriate and unwanted touching (hugging, kissing, groping, or fondling)
• Stalking
• Blocking someone’s path
• Looking at someone up and down
• Making inappropriate facial expressions or gestures that are sexual in nature
• Email or letter that is contains sexual content
• Photographs that are sexually inappropriate
• Constant propositions for a date/sex
• Physical attack (hitting, shoving, rape)

Victims of Sexual Harassment

Anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment in Texas. Victims may be men or women, of any age, race, religious background or sexual orientation, and so can the harassers. Victims can be harassed by supervisors, co-workers or even non-employees. In addition, victims don’t have to be directly harassed in order to be affected by their conduct. A person that overhears a lewd joke or sees a sexually inappropriate behavior may also file sexual harassment charges.

Creating a Hostile Work Environment

Victims of sexual harassment are made to suffer in a hostile work environment, in which they may feel embarrassed, threatened, intimidated or scared. Because of the offender’s actions, they cannot carry out their normal activities as they regularly would and their performance at work begins to decline. One of the worst truths about sexual harassment is that the offender usually doesn’t begin and end his or her actions with one victim. They may move from one victim to another or target multiple victims at once. It is absolutely imperative that any victim of sexual harassment or anyone who witnesses the unwanted behaviors voice their concerns and pain to ensure that the harasser is stopped once and for all.

Texas Sexual Harassment Laws

Texas state law regards sexual harassment as a form of workplace discrimination, and as such, is illegal. Those who are harassed by a sexual offender may seek legal help to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice. In addition, employers in Texas may not terminate a person’s position, demote them or affect their job in any negative way for rejecting sexual advances, filing sexual harassment charges, or cooperating with a sexual harassment investigation.

Those who are affected by sexual harassment may be eligible for compensation and damages. Anyone who has been the target of sexual harassment in Texas has the right to seek the help of a sexual harassment lawyer.

Working with a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Texas

Although the victims of sexual harassment have rights and are protected by both state and federal law, they may be afraid to come forth with allegations out of fear that the offender will retaliate. However, Texas law protects victims of sexual harassment against retaliation. The longer you wait to file charges, the worse the harassment will likely become. If you or someone you know is getting harassed at work, speak to a leading Texas sexual harassment attorney right away.

Everyone in Texas has a right to a workplace free from hostility and sexual harassment lawyers work diligently to ensure that perpetrators are apprehended and disciplined. With a top sexual harassment attorney on your side, you can rest assured that the unwanted behaviors will cease and the offender will be held accountable for their actions.

Fight for your rights today and turn to an acclaimed team of sexual harassment attorneys to get started on your case.