If you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment in the state of Texas, you may be eligible to submit a claim for compensation from your employer who is in violation of the law for failing to stop the workplace harassment from taking place. When defining the term sexual harassment in the workplace it is when an employee has been a victim of the following:
- been asked to submit to providing sexual favors;
- physical or verbal abuse which is sexual;
- unwelcome sexual advances.
It is also breaking the law when a man or woman is sexually harassed in the workplace, or when offensive comments are used which are referring to men or women in general. Also, both the victim of the sexually harassment at work in Texas and the harasser could be either a man or a woman of the same sex.
What Texas State Laws Protect Against Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace has violated the federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is also covered by Texas state law, Texas Lab. Code §§ 21.051, 21.101, which makes it illegal for an employer to allow sexual harassment to take place in the workplace.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Under federal law when referring to sexual harassment it could be any of the following:
- using words that have sexual connotations;
- subjecting the victim to visual and written sexual conduct ;
- subjecting the victim to vulgar and sexist language.
- making sexual advances;
- demanding sexual favors;
- any physical behavior that is seen to be sexual in nature.
How is Sexual Harassment Covered by Law in Texas?
Texas state law does not allow sexual harassment under the state’s laws and it will investigate any complaints of workplace sexual harassment that have taken place. However, you are required to file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division (TWC-CRD) within 180 days of the alleged act of sexual harassment taking place in Texas.
What Employers are Covered by Sexual Harassment Laws?
All employers must observe anti-discrimination laws in Texas. This includes sexual harassment which is illegal. Employers who fail or refuse to respond to complaints of sexual harassment may face fines or penalties after investigation by the state or federal anti discrimination agency.
Employers with 15 or more employees may be investigated by the EEOC, while the TWC-CRD may be asked to investigate any Texas employer that has been accused of not preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Where to File a Workplace Sexual Harassment Claim in Texas?
If you are a victim of sexual harassment in Texas you may be eligible to file a claim of harassment through the federal agency which is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) and in Texas a discrimination claim can be filed either with the state administrative agency, the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division (TWC-CRD) or the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
These two agencies cooperate with each other to process claims. Filing a claim with both agencies isn’t necessary, as long as the claimant indicates which one of the agencies she or he wants to “cross-file” the claim with the other agency.
A state claim can be submitted at the following address:
- 101 E. 15th St., Room 144-T
- Austin, Texas 78701
- Toll-free within Texas: (888) 452-4778
- Intake Questionnaire
- To Submit a Complaint in Person
- Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division
- 117 Trinity St., Room 144-T
- Austin, Texas 78701
To file a claim with the EEOC, contact your closest local EEOC office at the address below:
Dallas District Office
- 207 S. Houston Street
- 3rd Floor
- Dallas, TX 75202-4726
- Phone: (214) 655-3355
- TTY: (214) 655-3363
El Paso Area Office
- 300 E. Main Drive
- Suite 500
- El Paso, TX 79901
- Phone: (915) 534-6700
- TTY: (915) 534-6710
Houston District Office
- 1919 Smith Street, 7th Floor
- Houston, TX 77002
- Phone: (713) 209-3320
- TTY: (713) 209-3367
San Antonio District Office
- 5410 Fredericksburg Road
- Suite 200
- San Antonio, TX 78229-3555
- Phone: (210) 281-7600
- TTY: (210) 281-7610
How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Harassment Claim in Texas?
Under Texas state law you have 180 days to file a complaint of sexual harassment in the workplace. The federal statute of limitations is 300 days from the date of the incident.
Getting Help Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim in Texas
Before filing a Texas workplace sexual harassment claim you should seek help from a sexual harassment lawyer first who will ensure you have the best evidence which adequately supports your claim and who will negotiate with your employer for the compensation that you deserve.