Business owners in Houston have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Safety goes well beyond trip-and-fall hazards and other things that can physically injure a person. It also encompasses things that can emotionally injure a person such as discrimination and sexual harassment. Even if your company provides training programs to prevent such behaviors, you may still find yourself in the midst of employment litigation when representatives of your company do not abide by certain standards.
A Texas crane operator recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against his former employer seeking undisclosed monetary damages. The man claims that he reported the behavior through the proper channels at the company, yet instead of taking actions to rectify the situation authorities instead cut the man’s hours. He was finally forced to quit. The lawsuit cites more than one occasion when the man was subjected to inappropriate behavior. In one instance, his supervisor allegedly moved his genitals across the man’s shoulder. In another instance a manager and an employee were purportedly in a position that was sexual in nature. Another employee is accused of wearing only underwear while on the job site.
It doesn’t matter if your company is in the construction industry or a cyber retailer; blue collar and white collar companies alike are required to provide a safe work environment. Business owners are encouraged to consult with an employment law attorney when complaints of sexual harassment are made. Different circumstances may require different strategies to diffuse the situation and protect the company from expensive and damaging lawsuits.
Source: SE Texas Record, “Sexual harassment at job site leads to lawsuit,” Thomas Kallies, Jan. 20, 2014