Sexual harassment is a type of sexual discrimination in the workplace that
is carried out by a company supervisor, co-worker, client, or customer.
It can make working conditions intolerable. Despite the widespread prevalence
of sexual harassment, sexual harassment is illegal under federal and Texas
state laws, and you have legal recourse to protect your rights. At Farah Law, our
employment lawyers pursue compensation on behalf of victims of sexual harassment in Houston
and elsewhere throughout the state.
We have extensive knowledge and experience in sexual harassment cases,
and our Houston
employment lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you.
What determines whether behavior is sexual harassment?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that for behavior
to be considered sexual harassment, the conduct must be so frequent or
severe that it creates a hostile work environment.
It also must result in negative work consequences such as adverse employment
actions against the harassment victim. For example, demotion, termination,
or other penalties based on the employee's rejection of the employer's
sexual advances would constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment
does not have to take the form of requesting sexual favors or unwanted
sexually implicit innuendos. It can also simply be derogatory comments
made about a person's sex or discussions of a sexual nature which make
the individual feel uncomfortable.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can take many forms, from slight to extreme, but is generally
divided into two main categories:
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Job benefits that are offered in exchange for sexual favors or for accepting
sexual advances are
quid pro quo, which is Latin for "one thing for another." Repercussions from
refusing such a sexual proposition generally would include adverse consequences
such as demotion, denial of promotion, termination or wage reduction.
Hostile Work Environment
The key element of a hostile work environment is the repeated aspect of
sex discrimination or behavior. The frequency of physical contact, sexual
remarks, or offensive comments based on the person's sex is the factor
that makes the behavior sexual harassment. An isolated incident does not
usually constitute sexual harassment unless the behavior is extreme, such
as in cases of attempted rape, rape, and sexual battery.
Steps to Take When Dealing with Sexual Harassment
Speaking with the Human Resources representatives of the company to complain
about sexual harassment is usually the first step an employee should take.
Taking this step allows the company the opportunity to correct the situation.
If the company fails to take action or is ineffective in remedying the
situation, then you can file a complaint with the EEOC or Texas Commission
on Human Rights. When pursuing a lawsuit, both state and federal courts
hear sexual harassment cases.
Our employment lawyers can review your complaint and advise you as to the
best course of legal action to take. Depending on the details of your
case, we may be able to seek monetary damages for back pay, emotional
pain and suffering, attorney fees, court costs, and if particularly severe,
To learn whether you have grounds for legal action and to find out how
much you could receive if you win your lawsuit,
contact us now.