There are two general types of sexual harassment claims under employment laws and policies. These are:
- Hostile work environment: This is an overall, pervasive atmosphere of hostility or inappropriateness
- Quid pro quo: This is a “this for that” type of harassment where one employer or employee attempts to exchange work benefits for favors of a sexual nature from the victim
When proving sexual harassment, the employee usually needs to provide evidence of their harm, as well as support for damages, such as lost wages or a lost promotion. Sexual harassment can also occur in non-work settings, such as during a company sponsored outing or meeting.
When filing a harassment claim in the state of Texas, it’s usually necessary to file with a government agency first, such as the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The commission will usually launch an investigation into the matter to determine whether a violation has occurred. The TWC also acts as a neutral fact-finder to establish which facts are true in the case and which might not be.
Texas state laws on harassment may be slightly different from federal standards, as they also cover criminal harassment. Federal harassment cases are usually processed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, cases filed with the Texas Workforce Commission are also reviewed by the EEOC. The victim of the harassment usually needs to file with the TWC see first.
Lastly, it may be possible to file a private lawsuit against the employer, depending on the type of harassment involved. Again, it’s usually a requirement that the person file with the TWC before filling a private lawsuit for damages. Texas lawsuits against employers can also be filed as a class action suit if many persons have been victimized through sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you need to file a claim for harassment in Texas, you may wish to contact a qualified Texas employment lawyer in your area. Your attorney can assist you the various filing procedures, and can represent you in court if necessary. LegalMatch can match you with qualified employment law attorneys in areas of Texas like Dallas, San Antonio, and other major cities.