Houston, TX – Ever since the MeToo movement started a few years ago, legislators across the nation have been under pressure to make workplaces safe and protect employees against any form of sexual harassment. Texas has introduced some of the strictest laws in the country. Those who engage in sexual harassment can no longer evade responsibility, while companies can and will be held liable for damages.
The new law that went into effect on September 1, 2021 expands the definition of sexual harassment and places responsibility on individuals, people victims can point the finger at, rather than companies. Also, the new law raises the standards of accountability, and managers or business owners will have to answer if they fail to address sexual harassment complaints and take measures to remedy the situation.
The new laws apply to all businesses operating in Texas, regardless of the number of employees, whereas under the federal law, the Civil Rights Act, anti-discrimination laws only applied to businesses with 15 or more employees.
How is sexual harassment defined in Texas?
Under the new Texas law, any “person that acts directly in the interest of the employer in relation to the employee” may be liable for failing to adequately address sexual harassment that “reasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance.” While the law doesn’t go into details, a seasoned Houston sexual harassment lawyer can help you prove that the sexual harassment you were subjected to by either your supervisor or your coworkers interfered with your work performance.
As an example, if some of your coworkers routinely try to put their hands on you or make sexually-charged comments the moment you walk in, you will naturally avoid being in the same room with them and this may interfere with your job.
The company management or your supervisor can be held accountable if your lawyers can prove they knew or should have known you were sexually harassed and they failed to take “immediate and appropriate corrective action.” What does this mean? It means that whoever is harassing you cannot escape with a slap on the wrist and keep disturbing you with their inappropriate touching or their rude jokes. The measures the management takes should be strong enough to put an end to your torment and protect you against any form of retaliation.
What is the mechanism for filing a sexual harassment complaint?
The first step is to talk to your supervisor or file a complaint with the HR department. According to the law, the employer is required to investigate the matter promptly and take action against the harassers.
If your employer fails to do his duty, you can take the matter to the state authority, namely the Texas Workforce Commission. If your Texas sexual harassment lawyers feel your interests would be served best by taking the issue to the federal level, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The new law extended the statute of limitations for sexual harassment complaints. Victims now have 300 days from the date of the incident to file a complaint.
Your lawyers will represent you before state or federal authorities during the investigations. Either institution will attempt to mediate between you and your employer, but this is not always possible. In this case, the institutions may decide to file a lawsuit on your behalf or issue a Notice to sue to allow you to go to court.
Attorneys Near Me
If you’re looking for a sexual harassment lawyer or need professional help with other legal matters, you may be wondering “Where can I find Attorneys Near Me?” Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link to go to the extensive database on usattorneys.com. Select the legal area you’re interested in, your state and your city, and schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer in your area.