Mansfield, TX – Although sexual harassment is illegal in all workplaces, for a victim to win a lawsuit they need to meet the specific elements of the cause of action. Other forms of inappropriate workplace behavior can be problematic, but there are conditions that must be met for a legitimate harassment lawsuit to be brought. Anyone who is dealing with these kinds of workplace issues should get advice from a labor lawyer to decide if a lawsuit or other actions are necessary.
The legal definition of sexual harassment
For conduct to be considered sexual harassment as a matter of law, it must be unwelcome, due to the victim’s gender or sex, and serious or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment. Common examples include consistent verbal abuse based on the victim’s gender, asking for sexual favors as a condition of retaining employment or receiving benefits, or physical contact that is sexual in nature. Situations that involve one minor incident may not be considered sexual harassment by the courts, although decisions are made on a case by case basis when sexual harassment is an issue. It is also likely that harassment victims are abused by their supervisors, managers, or others in positions of authority. Harassment cases that involve coworkers with the same level of authority in the company are possible, but less common.
What elements does the victim need to show in their lawsuit?
The victim will need to retain evidence such as emails, communications, or text messages, video surveillance, or recordings that demonstrate certain types of conduct. The victim must show that the conduct was not wanted or unwelcome, that it was sexual in nature or due to the victim’s gender, that it occurred in the workplace, and that it impacted the victim in some tangible way in terms of their ability to work or function in the workplace. Something like lost employment, promotions, or an inability to complete job duties due to the conduct would be considered a significant impact on the workplace.
Remedies available to victims
If the plaintiff is successful in a harassment lawsuit, they may receive various types of compensation. This includes expenses associated with finding a new job or career change, any lost income and wages that were due to the harassment, or even psychological counseling that was necessary due to the behavior in question. However, there are also damage caps that apply in harassment lawsuits.
Advice from a labor attorney
Moore and Associates is a respected employment law firm that helps people in Mansfield and other parts of Texas. Their attorneys are available to answer questions about discrimination, unpaid wages, overtime law, sexual harassment, and other workplace issues.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002