Sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new in Texas. Sexual harassment falls under the regulations of §21 of the Texas Labor Code. Sexual harassment is unwelcome, offensive conduct directed at or committed in the presence of an employee.
As a Tyler Injury Lawyer, I have handled sexual harassment cases which arose out of a broad variety of perverted conduct including:
- Lewd comments or behavior
- Demands for sexual favors or sexual performance
- “Quid pro quo” demands for sexual favors in exchange for job benefits
- Sexually suggestive comments
- Offensive touching, groping, or other unwelcome and offensive physical contact
- Sending sexually explicit e-mails to employees or co-workers
- Sexting which is the sending of a text containing a sexually explicit picture
- Requesting or causing an employee or co-worker to view pornographic material
- Requesting or suggesting that an employee give sexual favors to a customer or business associate.
The cause of action for sexual harassment in the workplace is, in essence, a cause of action based upon the failure of management to take corrective action once properly placed upon notice of the offensive, unwelcome conduct. For this reason it is important that victims of sexual harassment give management notice in writing in order to give management an opportunity to correct the situation. In some situations notice of the misconduct is not necessary, such as when the perpetrator is an officer, director, or owner of the company. Earl Drott Law handled a case of this nature in which an East Texas dentist placed a video camera in a restroom. Notice was not necessary since the perpetrator was both the owner and supervisor of the sexually harassed employee.Sexual Harassment Damages
Texas Labor Code §21 provides that a Texas victim of sexual harassment may recover past and future medical expenses, past and future mental anguish damages, past and future lost wages, past and future punitive damages, costs, and attorney’s fees from the employer.
Furthermore, pursuant to Waffle House v. Williams , 313 S.W. 3rd 796 (Tex. 2010), unwanted and unwelcome sexual physical conduct gives rise to a cause of action against the individual perpetrator for assault and battery and the claim against the individual is not governed by the Texas Labor Code.Sexual Harassment Statute of Limitations
Although most torts are governed by a two year statute of limitations sexual harassment claims are subject to the “continuing violation doctrine” which provides that if any of an ongoing course of misconduct falls within the applicable statute of limitations then a claim for all of the acts is considered timely.
Separate and apart from the claim against the employer pursuant to Texas Labor Code §21 or the assault and battery claim, the offensive and unwelcome sexual contact with an employee or co-worker may constitute public lewdness in violation of Texas Penal Code § 21.07, indecent exposure pursuant to Texas Penal Code §21.08, and/or a criminal assault under Texas Penal Code §22.01(3).
After more than thirty-four years and thousands of personal injury cases there is virtually nothing that we haven't seen and successfully handled. There is no substitute for experience. If you want the assistance of an experienced Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney in the Tyler / Longview / East Texas area contact us today.Representative Sexual Harassment Cases
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