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The State of Texas Enacts Significant New Rule for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 

— December 22, 2021

Unfortunately, there have been too many cases of sexual harassment that go unnoticed and unreported.

Texas is taking a bold new direction to tackle sexual harassment. This law is turning convention on its head and is bringing accountability to the forefront. Having taken effect on September 1, 2021, the new ruling heightens the responsibility for employers. Consequences will be mandated to individual employers, rather than to corporations who turn to their human resources department and begin a long, arduous process that takes time to be resolved, making the incident either forgotten or unsolved.

What kind of sexual harassment can occur in the workplace? 

Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur in many forms such as:

  • Complimenting attire
  • Asking for a date
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Unsolicited compliments or sexual advances
  • Unsolicited sexual facial expressions

How this new law will affect workers. 

This new Texas law, coinciding with the Texas Workforce Commission, is designed to benefit innocent workers in the following ways:

  • Holding direct responsibility to the individual/perpetrator.
  • Extending the time to file a sexual harassment complaint.
  • Not discriminating against protected classes such as age, gender, disability, or race.
  • Adding harassment as a sexual offense in the workplace, now defining it as any sexual-based nature of workplace activity that encourages sexual advancement.
  • Under the new law, the State forces employers to prove that they took immediate action to discourage or stop the harassment, to avoid any sort of consequence.

What to do if you’re a Texas employee?

Parent Blurts Out Racist Comments at School Meeting
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Texas employees who have faced sexual harassment in the workplace and want to take advantage of this new ruling should do the following:

  • Engage in new company-mandated training.
  • Document if your employer immediately reacts to your claim.
  • Preserve any online training materials.
  • Inform the employer about your incident.
  • File a lawsuit if they don’t respond in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure that a third-party human resources agent is assigned to your investigation.

Sexual harassment has been a prohibited and frowned upon a topic for years. However, workplace culture has seen improvements thanks to more stringent laws and rulings. This new ruling was created in hopes to enact Texas’ no-tolerance stance on workplace harassment.

If you work in Texas and have suffered sexual harassment at the workplace without any reaction from your employer, you should not have to suffer sexual harassment in any circumstance. Help is available! You are entitled to peace of mind and protection from sexual harassment! 

Unfortunately, there have been too many cases of sexual harassment that go unnoticed and unreported. This leaves unaddressed trauma and emotional turmoil for the victims that can cause worse emotional turmoil in the future. You may be entitled to compensation and your rights deserve to be represented. In most cases, is it recommended to contact the services of a skilled legal practitioner. 

Seek legal counsel in the State of Texas today.

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