Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious violation of state and federal laws. Statutes in Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 and in Title VII of the federal government’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect workers from employment discrimination and harassment based upon sex.
Sexual harassment causes stress and hostility in the workplace. When innocent victims file rightful claims, they often fear acts of retaliation by the perpetrator and/or the employer. Under state and federal labor laws, acts of retaliation against these victims are strictly prohibited.
As offensive as discrimination and workplace sexual harassment can be, it is often necessary to retain counsel to protect yourself, your career and your right to work in a safe environment. The warriors for justice at Hutchison & Foreman, PLLC, apply their experience and legal expertise to represent abused workers.
If you feel you’re a victim, exercise your rights and contact Hutchison & Foreman, PLLC, for a free and confidential review of your sexual harassment case. Call 817-336-5533.
What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Sexual harassment includes severe or pervasive unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances, suggestive comments intended to solicit sexual favors and other sexually related actions, gestures or verbiage. Workers should not be subjected to these conditions.
Under Texas law, sexual harassment in the workplace is divided into two primary categories:
- Quid pro quo – This type of harassment violation refers to incidents where the employee is required to perform sexual favors as a condition of employment or is punished for refusing or rebuffing sexual advances.
- Hostile Work Environment – In hostile work environment cases, unwelcome sexual approaches interfere with the victim’s job performance due to the threatening environment. It is the employer’s responsibility to protect all workers and provide a safe place for workers to perform their jobs.
It should be noted that in Texas and in most other states, complaints have been received regard same-sex sexual harassment. All workers should understand that these improper and unwelcome acts and advances constitute sexual harassment so long as the harassment is “because of” sex.
Administrative Requirements and Deadlines
Before you can file a lawsuit for sexual or other prohibited workplace harassment, you must go through an administrative procedure with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). It is initiated by you filing what is called a “Charge,” a document that outlines the basis for your complaint. Federal and state laws provide time deadlines for a victim of harassment to file the Charge. Under federal law, you must file the Charge within 300 days of the date of the harassment. Under Texas law, you must file the Charge within 180 days of the date of the harassment. Whether the administrative agency investigates or not, they will at some point issue you a Notice of Right to Sue, after which time you can file a lawsuit. Failing to file the Charge and get the Notice of Right to Sue is fatal to your lawsuit.
Once you get the Notice of Right to Sue, there is a very short period of time to file the lawsuit. A federal Right to Sue gives you 90 days to file suit. A Texas Right to Sue gives you 60 days to file a lawsuit. As you can see, you must act quickly after you receive the notice.
Our attorneys can help you file a Charge and obtain a Right to Sue.
Retaliation Protection for Plaintiffs
In today’s employment marketplace, many workers try to endure sexual harassment violations in the workplace rather than give up their income. However, laws prohibit employers from retaliating against a worker who complains about this type of harassment.
Some employers attempt to disguise retaliation against innocent workers who file complaints against the employer or coworkers. The most common excuse is to terminate or suspend a worker based upon “subpar” performance. Often employers will use vague language such as the employee is no longer a “good fit.” These actions on the part of the employer can be a pretext for retaliation.
As current events indicate, if properly adjudicated these types of cases can yield significant rewards. If you suffer in silence, the offender will continue to harass you and other workers.
For a confidential consult regarding your sexual harassment claim, contact Hutchison & Foreman, PLLC, via telephone at 817-336-5533. Under state and federal laws, you have rights and Hutchison & Foreman, PLLC, will fight to ensure you are protected and rightfully compensated for sexual harassment in the workplace.