Texas Sexual Harassment Law
In an ideal work atmosphere, employees work together for the greater good of the company and are supportive to one another. But unfortunately, there are many workplaces that don’t operate ideally. If you are in a work environment that is threatening or even hostile, you don’t have to suffer through it. Many people who are the victims of sexual harassment look the other way, just hoping that things will get better. But the reality is that until you take steps to make the harassment stop, it is likely not going to. Sexual harassment is illegal at both the state and federal levels in Texas, so you do not have to keep silent.
According to the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, it is against the law to discriminate against any worker based on sex, pregnancy, or any medical condition that is related to pregnancy or childbirth. In most instances, sexual harassment falls under the Act and is strictly prohibited. The Act governs any employer with 15 or more workers. You are also protected as an employee through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So there is no reason not to take a stand and make the harassment stop.
Just poor behavior or sexual harassment?
In many cases, victims of sexual harassment believe that the actions of their co-worker or boss are nothing more than poor behavior. But if you are being made to feel intimidated or threatened to the extent that someone’s behavior is hindering your work performance or stopping you from advancement within the company, then it is likely more than “just” bad behavior. If their actions are pervasive and systematic enough to create a hostile work environment, then that is sexual harassment, and you do have the right to file a claim.
Sexual harassment isn’t just the occasional offensive joke. It is repetitious acts such as sexual innuendos, derogatory sexual remarks, inappropriate touching, lewd sounds or gestures, unwelcome sexual suggestions and even explicit sexual material. It is also important that you can prove that it isn’t just you being overly sensitive. You have to show the legal constraint of reasonableness. That means that if any “reasonable” person were in the same situation, they would be just as offended as you are.
If your employer or someone who holds authority over your work status or position makes it known either implicitly or explicitly that they would like a sexual favor, and that your job may be in jeopardy if you don’t comply, that is known as “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Quid pro quo means that your employer tells you that if you do something for them, like a sexual favor, they will do something for you, like promote you or even keep your position safe. Quid pro quo sexual harassment might just be a one-time incident, but it is also considered illegal.
Making the harassment stop so you can get back to work
The first step to take if you are the victim of sexual harassment is to make your boss, supervisor, and harasser know about the inappropriate behavior and demand that the employer takes steps to make it stop. Your company should have guidelines in place regarding how sexual harassment claims are to be handled. If you are fearful of retaliation – which is also illegal – you might want to hire a Texas sexual harassment lawyer to guide you through the claims process and to ensure you are doing everything necessary should you need to escalate your claim to a court of law.
Your Texas sexual harassment attorney should also help you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the federal level to ensure that you are creating a paper trail, just in case the harassment doesn’t stop.
Is your employer liable for sexual harassment?
If you can prove that you followed the proper procedures to make your employer aware of the harassment and that they did nothing to make it better, and that you suffered damages as a result, then it is possible to hold your employer liable in a court of law. In sexual harassment suits, you are entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages.
To make sure that you get the harassment in your work environment to stop and get compensation for your damages, it is imperative that you consult USAttorneys.com today; they can connect you with an experienced Texas sexual harassment lawyer who can help you follow the necessary steps to protect yourself and your position.