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

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4 Things You Should Do If You’re Being Harassed At Work

There are various forms of workplace harassment, and some may not be considered illegal, like teasing done with good intentions. Nonetheless, it becomes unlawful if it reaches a level of severity or frequency that leads to a hostile or abusive work environment, hindering an employee’s ability to perform their job. Even a single incident can be severe enough to create such an environment, or multiple incidents can contribute to it. It is not necessary to endure harassment in any case.

If you are facing harassment at work, it is crucial to take the following four steps:

  1. Report the harassment to your employer or HR department, and make sure that it is documented.

  2. Keep a record of the harassment incidents, including details such as date, time, location, and any witnesses.

  3. Follow your company’s harassment policy and procedures for reporting incidents.

  4. Seek legal counsel or advice from a qualified attorney if the situation persists or escalates.

Know Your Rights: Experiencing Sexual Harassment At Work

As a victim of workplace harassment, you are entitled to certain rights, protections, and options to address and put a stop to the harassment.

  • Communicate

If you believe that it is safe to do so, you have the option to directly confront the person who is harassing you at work. You can communicate to them that their behavior is inappropriate, hostile, abusive, or intimidating and ask them to stop. This can be done either in the moment or in a follow-up conversation to make it clear that the conduct is unwanted.

  • Record

If you face harassment at work, it is important to document each incident, whether it’s a one-time occurrence or happens repeatedly. Take note of the date, time, location, and the person who harassed you, as well as any witnesses and what was said or done. It’s essential to keep a copy of this information outside of your workplace.

  • Report Internally

You should read your employer’s policy on harassment and comply with it when reporting an incident. If your employer does not have a policy, you should consider reporting the harassment to a supervisor or human resources specialist whom you trust. If the first person you report it to does not take action, report it to another person. Keep records of all communications and take notes on all conversations. If you are a member of a union, you can also report the harassment to your union representative.

  • Report Externally

To learn about your rights, resources, and file a charge, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your local EEOC field office. You can file a charge of harassment online or in person within 180 days of the harassment incident, and sometimes up to 300 days depending on your state laws. You do not need a lawyer to file a charge. Your employer will be notified after you file a charge and the EEOC will decide what to do next, which may include mediation or investigation. You can keep track of the status of your claim through the EEOC Public Portal.

Why Seeking Help On Workplace Harassment Is Important?

Getting help when facing workplace harassment is important for your physical and mental health, as well as your ability to perform your job. By seeking help, you are taking responsibility for your personal safety and well-being, and helping to create a workplace that is safe and supportive for everyone to work in without the fear of harassment.

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What Will The Consequences Be If I Report?

When a complaint is made in the workplace, it’s best if the employer takes action to ensure that the complainant is not required to work with the accused person or people. Settlements can be reached before the complaint is brought before an arbitrator or adjudicator, and may involve financial compensation, apologies, workplace transfers or safety measures. If the complaint does go to a hearing, and the organization is found to be at fault, damages may be awarded based on the organization’s failure to adequately address the issue of discrimination or harassment. Even if an organization takes action to address individual instances of harassment, they may still be held responsible if there is a broader problem of harassment in the workplace, such as a toxic culture. In such cases, additional steps such as training and education must be taken to eradicate the problem.

Considering Your Reporting Options

If you are experiencing bullying or harassment at work, there are several steps you can take to address the situation. One option is to speak directly with the person responsible for the behavior, if it is safe and appropriate to do so. By explaining how their actions or words are affecting you, they may stop the behavior. However, if you do not feel comfortable speaking to the person directly, or if the behavior continues after addressing it, you should report your concerns to your employer or a trusted manager or human resources representative. If you are a member of a union, you can also speak to a union representative for assistance.

If your employer does not address the issue or if you feel they have not taken reasonable steps, you can speak to your union about the problem. Your union can help you through the grievance process under the collective agreement or other means. Employers also have a legal obligation to accommodate physical and mental disabilities, including mental illnesses that may contribute to or be caused by bullying and harassment. If the person responsible for the behavior has a mental health issue, your employer may need to balance your rights with their rights.

Your employer is not allowed to share medical information about other employees with you, but they also have an obligation to keep your medical information confidential. It’s important to know your reporting options outside of the workplace if you don’t feel your concerns are being addressed.

Longer Statute Of Limitations For Sexual Harassment Claims

To bring a claim for sexual harassment under the Texas Labor Code, an employee must file a discrimination charge with the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days of the alleged sexual harassment. However, a new law has extended the time limit for filing a charge of sexual harassment from 180 days to 300 days from the date of the alleged harassment. This extension only applies to sexual harassment claims that stem from conduct occurring on or after September 1, 2021. The 180-day statute of limitations remains unchanged for other types of harassment, such as age, race, or disability, and for any incidents that occurred prior to September 1, 2021.

Which New Texas Laws Involve Sexual Harassment?

Out of the 666 new laws that were passed by the previous Legislature, House Bill 21 and Senate Bill 45 provide greater protections for employees in Texas. Despite receiving less attention than other bills, these laws have a direct impact on the workplace environment and are beneficial. As of September 1, 2021, Section 21.141 will be added to the Texas Labor Code, specifically concerning sexual harassment claims.

It is important to note that sexual harassment is a type of sexual discrimination law, and the new expansions in the statute only apply to sexual harassment claims. In order to make a legal claim, workplace harassment must be targeted at an employee’s protected class, which includes race, religion, national origin, disability, and age. If an employee is experiencing workplace harassment based on any of these attributes, the previous provisions of the Texas Labor Code still apply.

How Do These New Texas Laws Expand Liability?

The new law expands the liability of employers and supervisors for sexual harassment claims. Under the new Section 21.141 of the Texas Labor Code, an employer could be liable for sexual harassment even if they were negligent. To be held liable, the employer must have known or should have known about the sexual harassment and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. The use of the word “immediate” indicates a higher standard than before. The new law eliminates the Faragher-Ellerth defense, which previously shielded employers from liability if an employee did not follow the company’s policy manual to report the harassment to HR or management. However, it is still recommended for employees to report any offensive behavior that interferes with their work performance. The new law is in the best interest of managers, supervisors, and executives to ensure a safe and harassment-free work environment, which will ultimately lead to a more productive and profitable company.

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

What Must Be Proven For A Conviction Of Criminal Harassment In Texas?

To establish criminal harassment in Texas, the prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant had the intent to harass, alarm, or torment another person through:

  • To establish criminal harassment in Texas, it is necessary to demonstrate that the accused intended to torment, harass, or alarm someone by starting communication with the victim and, during the course of that communication, proposing or asking for something that is indecent or offensive.
  • To cause alarm to a victim, it is considered criminal harassment in Texas to communicate false information that someone they know has been injured or has passed away.
  • It is considered criminal harassment to communicate a threat to the victim with the intent of causing bodily harm to the victim, their family, or their property.
  • Criminal harassment also includes intentionally not ending a telephone call, repeatedly making phone calls with the intention of annoying, harassing, or offending the victim, repeatedly sending electronic communications that cause alarm or embarrassment to the victim, and allowing someone who is harassing the victim to use the phone to make repeated calls.

How Do Sexual Harassment Claims Work?

Despite being prohibited by both Texas and federal law, sexual harassment continues to occur. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of your rights and have a clear understanding of what constitutes a sexual harassment complaint.

There are two forms of sexual harassment recognized by federal and Texas laws. If you experience either of these forms in the workplace, you may have grounds to file a complaint against your employer.

  1. Either creating a work environment that is hostile or permitting one to persist without taking any corrective measures; or,
  2. Quid pro quo harassment refers to a situation where a manager or supervisor demands sexual favors from an employee in exchange for preferential treatment, such as promotions, better work assignments, or other job-related benefits.

It’s worth highlighting that sexual harassment can manifest in various ways. Actions like unwanted physical contact or making inappropriate comments, engaging in offensive conversations or jokes, whether done in person or through electronic means like texts or emails, all qualify as forms of sexual harassment.

As an employee, you are entitled to a work environment that is free of unwelcome sexual advances and hostility. If you experience any instances of sexual harassment, make sure to document them and preserve any evidence you may have.

In case you report such incidents to your employer, and they fail to take appropriate measures, you can seek legal assistance from  Workplace Harassment Texas to fight for your rights.

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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