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Filing A Workplace Harassment Claims In Texas

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What Can I Do If I Am Experiencing Harassment At Work?

The first step to address harassment is to inform human resources or the relevant employee responsible for such issues. In case the employer does not have a human resources officer, reporting it to a supervisor or manager is an option. However, if the harasser is the supervisor or manager, one can either report it to another person in the organization or directly to the TWC.

One can file a complaint with the TWC’s Civil Rights Division either online or through the mail. Our page on reporting an employer provides more details about this procedure. Additional information can also be found on the TWC’s website.

Should I File A Complaint With The Texas Workforce Commission Or The EEOC?

To file a complaint against an employer under the TCHRA, an individual can either fill out and submit the TWC’s “Employment Discrimination Complaint Form” directly to the TWC or use the “dual filing” process. With the latter, the complainant can check the “FEPA” box on the EEOC’s “Charge of Discrimination” form and write “Texas Workforce Commission” on the blank line labeled “State or local Agency,” then file the completed charge with the EEOC. The EEOC will forward a copy of the charge to the TWC. However, the best approach may vary depending on the particular circumstances of the case, and it may be helpful to consult with an employment lawyer for guidance on the appropriate course of action.

How Can I File A Harassment Claim In Texas?

To file harassment charges in Texas, individuals must generally follow these steps:

  • To bring a harassment claim in Texas, an employee must initially submit a claim with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), which is a governing agency that handles workplace issues. The employee has a period of 300 days from the date of the incident to file the harassment claim with the TWC before they lose the right to file the claim.
  • After an employee files a harassment claim with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the TWC will examine the facts and evidence provided, and conduct an inquiry into the employee’s workplace to determine whether any acts of harassment occurred. Additionally, at this stage, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal government agency that monitors issues in the workplace, may also evaluate the employee’s harassment claim.
  • After completing the investigation, the TWC will issue a decision. If the employee is dissatisfied with the decision or it is not in their favor, they may file a lawsuit against their employer in court.
  • The employer must follow the legal procedures for filing a lawsuit in court. Therefore, they should seek the help of a lawyer to guide them through this process. If other employees have faced similar harassment, a harassment attorney may suggest filing a class action lawsuit.

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What Constitutes Harassment In Texas?

To put it differently, harassment charges in Texas have some variations compared to Title VII guidelines. Notably, Texas harassment laws encompass both civil and criminal forms of such behavior. This means that while most cases of sexual harassment are typically addressed outside the criminal justice system, Texas law may necessitate criminal proceedings for harassment allegations if the conduct was intended to provoke any of the reactions specified in the Texas criminal statute.

Several typical reasons that could be considered as harassment in Texas are:

  • Sending gifts, messages, or electronic communications of a romantic or inappropriate nature to someone else can be considered as harassment.
  • Using email, text, or phone calls to harass someone is a form of harassment.
  • Touching someone in a manner that causes discomfort to them or others can be regarded as harassment.
  • Making sexual advances towards someone without their consent is considered as harassment.
  • Making threats towards someone who rejects sexual advances;
  • Offering benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
  • Sending, showing, or using sexually explicit images or inappropriate language that is offensive to others or specifically targets an individual.

All of these actions can be considered forms of harassment.

Texas employment laws permit employees who have experienced sexual harassment at work to file a class action lawsuit against their employer. This can happen when multiple workers have similar sexual harassment complaints against an employer or supervisor and can fulfill the requirements for filing a class action lawsuit in a Texas court.

Moreover, recent modifications to Texas state laws on sexual harassment have simplified the process of filing a sexual harassment claim against an employer for employees. Although this development may be advantageous for many Texas employees, it has exposed several employers and high-level employees in Texas to legal risks and potential lawsuits. Some changes that may negatively impact Texas employers under the state’s new laws include:

  • When assessing liability, the definition of “employer” has been broadened to include supervisors, HR professionals, business owners, managers, and a small number of other types of workers.
  • Under the Texas Labor Code, the amount of time for a worker to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against an employer or another responsible individual has been extended by the new law.
  • The law now provides safeguards for workers from third-party entities associated with the company, allowing them to take legal action against third parties, such as vendors, consultants, outside businesses, etc., for harassment.
  • As per the revised Texas harassment statute, employers must now meet a more rigorous standard, which was not present in the original statute and which could have been used as a legal defense against such claims.

Do I Need A Lawyer For Help With Texas Harassment Laws?

Before filing a harassment claim in Texas, it is advisable to consult with a local sexual harassment attorney who is familiar with the recent changes in Texas harassment laws. By working with an experienced lawyer practicing in your county, you can be informed of your rights under the new amendments.

A lawyer can also guide you through the correct procedures for filing a sexual harassment claim against your Texas employer, ensuring that you comply with all legal requirements. Additionally, if you need legal representation in court or any other proceedings related to your claim, your attorney can provide those services as well.

The Time to Act is Now 


Act now for a free consultation from our top-rated legal  team to discuss any rights or compensation that you may be entitled.

We will fight to get the maximum compensation owed to you for your injuries and losses.

Complete The Form Or Call – (888) 306-4555

How Is Sexual Harassment Covered By Law In Texas?

Under Texas state law, sexual harassment in the workplace is prohibited, and any complaints of such harassment will be investigated. However, if you wish to file a complaint, you must do so with the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division (TWC-CRD) within 180 days of the alleged act of sexual harassment occurring in Texas.

What Employers Are Covered By Sexual Harassment Laws?

In Texas, employers are required to comply with anti-discrimination laws, which also prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers who do not address complaints of sexual harassment may be subject to fines or penalties following an investigation by the state or federal anti-discrimination agency.

If an employer has 15 or more employees, they may be investigated by the EEOC. Meanwhile, the TWC-CRD can investigate any Texas employer accused of failing to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Two Texas Laws Make It Easier To File Sexual Harassment Claims

As of September 1, 2021, two new laws have been enacted in Texas that expand workplace sexual harassment laws. These changes provide employees with more time to file claims and apply to all companies with at least one employee, including those that previously had exemptions for businesses with fewer than 15 employees. As a result, small business owners must now be aware that they may face allegations of sexual harassment that were previously excluded. In the past, victims of sexual harassment at smaller companies often felt isolated and unable to have their claims addressed in court.

Before the enactment of SB 45, new employees at small businesses had limited options when experiencing workplace sexual harassment. They may have felt trapped as they lacked the ability to hold their harasser accountable, and they may not have had many allies, such as coworkers, to provide support or evidence. Sexual harassment can be a traumatic experience, regardless of the size of the company, and may involve emotional or physical abuse. Previously, victims may have been left without legal recourse. However, with the implementation of SB 45, companies with at least one employee are now subject to sexual harassment claims. While the victim must still provide evidence to prove their case, they can file a sexual harassment claim with the Texas Workforce Commission and pursue a civil lawsuit. As a result, victims of sexual harassment in small businesses can now feel heard and acknowledged.

Retaliation Protection For Those Who File Sexual Harassment Complaints

Many workers today may choose to endure sexual harassment at work because they do not want to lose their job. However, it is against the law for employers to retaliate against workers who report such harassment.

Some employers may attempt to disguise retaliation against employees who report harassment as a result of poor job performance or no longer being a “good fit” for the company. These actions may be a pretext for retaliation.

Recent events have shown that if these cases are handled properly, they can result in significant rewards. It is important to speak up if you are being harassed at work, as staying silent will allow the harassment to continue.

Call For Your Free Consultation Now - (888) 306-4555

The Time to Act is Now 


Act now for a free consultation from our top-rated legal  team to discuss any rights or compensation that you may be entitled.

We will fight to get the maximum compensation owed to you for your injuries and losses.

Complete The Form Or Call – (888) 306-4555

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Workplace Harassment Texas

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If you have been harassed at work in Texas, or if you were compelled to leave your job because of severe and continual workplace harassment, contact Workplace Harassment Lawyers of Texas right away.

Our experienced Workplace harassment lawyers can assess the situation and recommend your best options for moving forward. You might be able to file a workplace discrimination claim against your employer for missed pay, benefits, and other monetary damages.

If you’d like to talk with us and ask questions specific to your case, call us at (888) 306-4555 for a free case evaluation.

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