Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many different forms, but every type of sexual harassment can have long-lasting negative repercussions. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may have a valid claim against your employer. Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful sex-based discrimination under state and federal employment laws.
The law firm of Rochelle McCullough is prepared to protect your rights and help you pursue a sexual harassment claim against your employer. Our Dallas-Fort Worth employment attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in workplace sexual harassment cases. We provide victims with honest, strategic legal counsel so they can make informed decisions about their cases. Contact Rochelle McCullough to learn more about your rights under state and federal employment laws.
Common Examples of Unlawful Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment is illegal because it is a form of sex-based discrimination. Although most victims of this are women, men are also exposed to sexual harassment in the workplace. Your gender and the gender of the harassing individual are not relevant when it comes to sexual harassment claims.
Additionally, sexual harassment doesn’t have to happen to you for you to pursue a claim. Any exposure to this conduct can be considered unlawful, even if you witness it happening to another person. There are many types of sexual harassment in the workplace, but some of the most common examples include the following:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Unwelcome physical conduct
- Physical and internet-based stalking
- Lewd jokes of a sexual nature
- Sexually offensive verbal communication
- Sexually based gestures and discussion on video calls
- Offensive sexual messages, emails, voicemails, and other forms of digital communication
- Posting or disseminating explicitly sexual images
- Discrimination or harassment based on gender identity or sexual orientation
- Firing, demotion, or other adverse employment actions for refusing sexual advances
Types of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Claims
There are two main types of unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace: quid pro quo and hostile work environment claims. The term “quid pro quo” roughly translates to “this for that.” In these types of sexual harassment cases, a manager or someone else in a superior position at a workplace pressure an employee to give them sexual attention. For example, a manager may promise an employee a raise or other preferential employment treatment in return for them giving in to their sexual advances. Conversely, a quid pro quo claim can arise when a supervisor threatens an employee with demotion, firing, or another adverse action if he or she doesn’t provide sexual favors.
Hostile Work Environment Claims
Texas employers cannot create a hostile work environment or allow it to continue. Sexual harassment can result in a hostile work environment, making it extremely difficult for employees to keep coming to work. When employers allow dirty jokes, unwanted physical touching, lewd pictures, and other sexually based acts, the workplace can become intolerable. Employees who want to come to work and do their job may find it nearly impossible because of the hostile work environment they experience every day.
Employees can pursue a hostile work environment claim even if they weren’t directly involved with the offensive conduct. Offensive acts from coworkers and even non-employees who are present in the workplace may be enough to justify a hostile work environment case. Employers aren’t required to create a workplace that is completely free from sexual references and off-color jokes. However, they are responsible for preventing a workplace culture that is so offensive and tainted that it affects a person’s ability to carry out his or her job.
Same-Sex Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
You must be aware of your rights and seek legal counsel if you have experienced same-sex sexual harassment at work in Dallas. Unwelcome sexual approaches, remarks, or other actions made against a person of the same sex in a professional situation are referred to as same-sex sexual harassment. Our skilled employment law attorneys at Rochelle McCullough LLP have a great deal of expertise with workplace harassment claims, including those involving same-sex discrimination. We are committed to standing out for the rights of victims, offering sympathetic assistance, and pursuing justice.
- Can you sue for the toxic work environment in Texas?
Yes, it is possible to pursue legal action for a toxic work environment in Texas. While Texas does not have specific laws addressing toxic work environments, certain actions and behaviors that create a hostile or toxic work environment may violate federal and state laws. These laws often protect employees from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace.
- What is considered a hostile work environment in Texas?
In Texas, a hostile work environment, also known as a hostile workplace, refers to unwelcome comments or conduct from an employer that is severe or pervasive enough to unreasonably hinder an individual’s ability to perform their job functions. This conduct typically involves offensive behavior based on protected characteristics, such as race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability.
What Should I Do If I Experience Sexual Harassment at Work?
Employees who experience sexual harassment may be concerned about how to proceed. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you may be feeling powerless against the aggressor and your employer. It’s important that you take the following steps to protect yourself and your future claim for compensation. First, you should discuss your case with an experienced employment attorney who can advise you on the best course of action according to the facts in your case.
It’s also important that you gather any evidence you can of the harassment, such as emails, and text messages. If the harassment was verbal, write down everything you remember about the incident, including the date and time. If there were witnesses to the sexual harassment, write down their contact information and details about what they saw. When reporting this, you should follow your employer’s official procedure regarding offensive and illegal conduct. It’s important to put your employer on notice about the offensive behavior before you pursue legal action.
Protecting Victims of Sexual Harassment in Texas
Many employees are understandably concerned that they will be fired or demoted if they report sexual harassment in the workplace. However, federal and state anti-discrimination laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for reporting sexual harassment. If you are concerned that your job is on the line, the attorneys at Rochelle McCullough are here to help you protect your job and rights. We can help you file an appropriate complaint with your employer.
If your employer retaliates against you or fails to address the unlawful conduct properly, we can move forward with your legal claim. Our attorneys can help you file an appropriate complaint within the time frame allowed by law so you don’t lose your opportunity to pursue justice. Suppose you have suffered economic loss because of sexual harassment. In that case, we can help you gather evidence and document your losses while preparing to file a lawsuit seeking the full amount of compensation you need and deserve for your loss.
Contact Our Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorney in Dallas
Employees should be able to focus on their job performance when they go to work. Unfortunately, this type of conduct makes it difficult for many employees to focus on workplace tasks. Requests for sexual favors, inappropriate texts, unwanted physical touching, and other types of sexual harassment can have a lasting negative effect on employees. If you’ve experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may have a right to pursue compensation from your employer. Contact the Dallas-Fort Worth employment attorneys at Rochelle McCullough to schedule an initial consultation.