Fighting For Justice After Sexual Harassment
Just to be clear about sexual harassment on the job: It is not just an embarrassment, an annoyance or a “he-said/she-said” conundrum. It is most certainly not a laughing matter. It is, in fact, an illegal form of employment discrimination on the basis of sex.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a violation of workers’ rights according to both federal and state laws. At Ellwanger Henderson, we recognize these affronts to human dignity to be clear violations of civil rights. Our team fights to protect our clients who are affected by workplace harassment. Our attorneys advise employees on how to protect themselves and assist them in taking appropriate legal action.
What Are Legal Definitions Of Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment may consist of unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors or physical touching of a sexual nature. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) includes in its definition: “and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” Other examples it cites include:
- Harassing words or actions from supervisors, co-workers or other people in a workplace, such as salespeople or customers
- Pejorative comments about women, in general, made in the presence of female employees
Offenders and targets of sexual harassment may be male or female. They may be of opposite sexes or the same sex.
Sexual harassment may be quid pro quo in nature (such as a supervisor’s requests for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment). Or it may involve ongoing offensive words or actions that create a hostile work environment. Both types of harassment are forms of illegal employment discrimination.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment In The Workplace?
Words and actions, such as unwanted touching or comments of a sexual nature, may be sexual harassment when they are severe or pervasive and continue even after a worker asks an offender to stop. Sexual harassment may be of a quid pro quo variety, such as when a supervisor asks for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion. Or, it may consist of behavior or conditions that create a hostile work environment. For more information, see our page on sexual harassment.
What Do I Do If My Rights Are Violated Through Sexual Harassment?
Offending behaviors amount to sexual harassment if they interfere with your work performance or foster a hostile work environment. The TWC specifies that you as an affected employee should let an offender know that their actions and words are unwelcome. If harassment or sexual misconduct at work is serious or persists, the next step will be to file a complaint with the employer. Then, if necessary, report the behaviors to appropriate government agencies.
At Ellwanger Henderson, our lawyers will help you protect yourself from illegal retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. If your employer retaliates or you have already been fired before calling us, our team can help you file a lawsuit to achieve justice through civil litigation.
How Long Do I Have To File A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
Texas has a statute of limitations for the length of time that can pass before you lose your right to file a claim. In our state, you must file your sexual harassment suit within 300 days of the alleged sexual misconduct. If you miss this deadline, you lose your right to seek compensation for your damages.
Discuss Your Case And Explore Legal Options With Our Help
Ellwanger Henderson is a trusted source of advocacy in support of workers’ civil rights in Texas and throughout the United States. Our employment law attorneys are ready to help you get relief and justice after experiencing sexual harassment in connection with your job.