Texas Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Texas Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against individuals on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.106). Sexual harassment is generally included in this definition. The Act covers all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.001 et seq.). There is additional information and details.
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An employer will be held liable for sexual harassment if an employee can show that an employer knew or should have known of a supervisor's sexual harassment and failed to take prompt remedial action (Colbert v. Georgia Pacific Corp., 995 F. Supp. 697 (N.D. Tex. 1998)).
An employer will be held liable for sexual harassment if its actions were not reasonably calculated to stop the harassment (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Wendy Davis, 979 S.W.2d 30 (3rd Dist. Tex. App. 1998); Brilliantine Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth, 118 S. Ct. 2257 (1998)).
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee must have the power to directly affect the terms and conditions of a coworker to be considered a supervisor under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) (Wooten v. FedEx Corp., 325 Fed.Appx. 297 (5th Cir. 2009)). In this case, two employees claimed they were subjected to a hostile work environment because of their interracial relationship. They also alleged that a coworker who had the authority to assign their deliveries had sufficient authority over their activities to be considered a supervisor under Title VII. However, the court disagreed, citing the fact that the coworker had no power to discipline the employees or evaluate their ...

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