Conroe, TX – Workplaces are starting to provide more training and awareness for issues related to sexual harassment. Ideally, each employer will be proactive and provide help and clear procedures for workers to report workplace harassment. However, this is not always the case and some employees will need to figure out what to do if they become a victim of harassment or witness illegal conduct among coworkers. Anyone who has been harassed at work can retain their own attorney to get help at any point during these processes.
Reporting the behavior to the people within the company
Before taking more serious actions such as a lawsuit or notifying a workforce commission, the employee should try to exhaust external remedies made available by their employer. This includes formally telling the human resources department or anyone else at the company who handles these issues. In some cases, the employer will take steps to conduct their own investigation and interview employees.
Notifying the local labor board
In Texas, there are various labor boards or agencies that can accept complaints of harassment depending on the worker’s status. If the employer has not remedied the situation, the next step is to notify the Texas Workforce Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other relevant body that handles the complaint. This can vary depending on whether the victim is a federal employee, state employee, or works in the private sector. Each labor board has their own procedures for looking into a complaint, and they can take various enforcement actions including fines and sanctions against the workplace.
Suing the employer
After an investigation, a labor board may issue a letter or statement that formally gives the victim the right to file a lawsuit. The plaintiff in this kind of case can argue for damages related to finding new employment, lost pay and wages, relocation costs, therapy and psychological treatment, and other losses caused by the employer’s illegal behavior. However, victims should be aware that there are special rules for sexual harassment lawsuits that limit the amount of damages the victim can collect. This damage cap varies with the size of the employer, although all unpaid or missing wages should be paid by the defendant regardless of the amount.
The employer is also not allowed to retaliate against the worker for filing a lawsuit, even if their case is unsuccessful. Workers who suspect unfair treatment due to asserting legally protected rights should notify their lawyer immediately.
Talking with an attorney about harassment
Moore and Associates is a labor and employment law firm that works in Conroe and other parts of Texas. Their attorneys are available to meet with anyone who has questions about problems at their job.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002