Despite the progress that has been made in various work industries, sexual harassment is still a concern for many. Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted behavior or conduct that is of a sexual nature that either:
- Interferes with an individual’s employment.
- Creates a hostile work environment.
- Creates an offensive work environment.
Examples of sexual harassment might include physical touching that is of a sexual nature, sexual comments being made, or even requests for sexual favors. Anyone in the workplace can be guilty of sexual harassment and can also be reported for it. This includes managers, supervisors, clients, customers, and co-workers.
What should an individual in Texas do if they are being sexually harassed at work?
If an individual is being sexually harassed, whether it is by a co-worker or an employer, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Civil Rights Division suggests they let their harasser know that their behavior is unwanted and that it should stop. In some cases, the harasser might take the warning seriously and discontinue the inappropriate behavior, but in other cases, the harasser may disregard these warnings and continue to subject the employee to harassment.
Now, because an employee who works for an employer with 15 or more employees is protected by Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act from employment discrimination based on sexual harassment, they do have the right to file a complaint with the TWC Civil Rights Division.
Filing a Sexual Harassment Complaint with the TWC Civil Rights Division
- The physical address of their employer must be in the State of Texas.
- The company must have at least 15 or more employees.
- The harassment, which is also recognized as a form of sex discrimination, must have occurred within the last 180 days from the date the complaint is being submitted.
- The complaint must show how the harassment has interfered with employment. For example, if the employee’s employer demoted them, fired them, or denied them a promotion, this is what would need to be included in the complaint form.
After the TWC Civil Rights Division receives the employment discrimination complaint, it shall work directly with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to determine (1) if the complaint meets the requirements outlined above, and (2) whether the alleged harasser violated a Texas Labor Code. If an individual chooses to file a complaint with the TWC Civil Rights Division, they are not required to file it with the EEOC as the two agencies will work together in addressing the issue.
In addition to filing an employment discrimination complaint for sexual harassment, employees are also encouraged to contact a Texas sexual harassment attorney for legal advice. An attorney can also determine whether a victim is entitled to recover finical relief for the harm their harasser has caused them.
Connect with a Texas Sexual Harassment Attorney
If an employee is interested in learning more about how they can exercise their legal rights after being sexually harassed at work or has questions only an attorney is qualified to answer, they can contact USAttorneys.com USAttorneys.com will help them locate a sexual harassment lawyer in their city, whether that is in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, or anywhere else within the state.