If you run a business or are responsible for managing employees, you likely have a number of concerns and stressful matters to deal with. However, it is vital to understand what constitutes unlawful sexual harassment and identify the appropriate course of action if you notice this illegal activity or an employee claims that they experienced sexual harassment. In Houston, and across the entire state of Texas, allegations of sexual harassment can be very damaging for businesses both large and small.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, illegal sexual harassment takes many forms. For example, some types of sexually-charged physical or verbal conduct which lead to a working environment that is hostile, impact a worker's employment or impede an employee's ability to perform the functions of their job are illegal. Other examples of illegal harassment which are sexual in nature include unwanted sexual advances and the requesting of sexual favors. Furthermore, sexual harassment does not need to result in the termination of a victim's job or cause them to suffer economic harm in order for it to be against the law.
Harassers and victims may be of either gender and an employee may be sexually harassed by his or her supervisor, co-worker or even someone who doesn't work for the company. Preventing sexual harassment is paramount, but cannot always be avoided. As a result, sexual harassment claims should be handled properly as soon as they arise.
This information was put together to shed light on sexual harassment and is not to be interpreted as a substitute for legal advice.