Sexual harassment at work is not something to be taken lightly. A considerable number of sexual harassment cases are reported in Texas every year. Also, it would be safe to say that a huge number doesn’t get reported too, because employees are very scared of consequences. After all, no one wants to be labeled as the trouble-maker or face retaliatory action. However, employees dealing with sexual harassment should speak up, and in the world of #metoo, every voice counts. If you ever face such harassment at work, knowing your rights is important. Also, talking to an Austin sexual harassment lawyer can help. Below are some quick things to know about dealing with your circumstances.
Understanding sexual harassment
It’s not about discouraging anyone – However, just because you believe that you have suffered sexual harassment doesn’t always mean you have a case. If you file a case, you are responsible for proving the allegations, and that’s not always easy. There are, however, clear signs and cases of sexual harassment. For instance, a supervisor may have asked for sexual favors in return of a promotion, or someone groped or tried to molest you at work. If a colleague, senior, or supervisor, has been passing lewd comments, sexual remarks, or frequently tries to get close, it is a case of sexual harassment. Sometimes, the advances can create a hostile environment, which may make it impossible to work.
Reporting sexual harassment
Your employer is responsible for offering a safe environment at work. When dealing with sexual harassment, your first instance should be about reporting the matter to your HR department. Every company has a clear policies and procedures for that. If the employer fails to take action, or takes retaliatory action, you can always navigate through options.
In Texas, you can file a sexual harassment charge with either Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you are in Austin, you can also file a charge with Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office.
Talk to an attorney to know how you can deal with the case and what damages you can recover. In general, it is possible to recover economic losses, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. Keep in mind that eventual recovery depends on the facts of the case, and the skill and expertise of your attorney can make a big difference.
Don’t delay in filing a sexual harassment case, if you have valid charges. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.