Sexual Harassment is illegal in Texas and violates both state and federal law. Sexual harassment can be verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature, and may include the following:
Unawanted sexual advances;
Sending sexually suggestive emails or displaying sexual content on a computer screen;
Discussing graphic sexual conduct or acts;
Conditioning employment benefits/opportunities in exchange for sexual favors;
Sexual jokes or derogatory comments; or
Physical touching of any body parts.
State and federal law also prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who complains about sexual harassment.
A victim of sexual harassment can be male or female, and the harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser can be any other employee that you work with, including a co-worker or supervisor. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed at work, it is important to complain internally to human resources or other individual(s) designated by your employer to handle employee complaints. It is also important to document any and all events that you believe constitute sexual harassment to best protect your rights.
There are certain time limitations for filing a complaint based on sexual harassment. Under state law, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, an individual must file a complaint no later than 180 days after the most recent occurrence of harassment. Under federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an individual must file a complaint no later than 300 days after the most recent occurrence of harassment. Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable employment attorney as soon as practicable.
The lawyers & attorneys at Howard & Kobelan have extensive experience in claims involving sexual harassment and can advise you of your legal rights and help you pursue a claim against your current or former employer.