Sexual Harassment Law
Despite the fact that sexual harassment is prohibited by state and federal law, it remains unfortunately common in the workplace. Whether the sexual harassment at-issue has been occasional or consistent, it may give rise to a legitimate claim for which the injured party can claim significant damages. At Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, our attorneys have years of experience successfully litigating sexual harassment claims for both employees and employers. Our Houston-based lawyers can assist you in achieving your objectives in favorably resolving the dispute in an efficient manner.
Sexual Harassment Basics
Texas Labor Code Chapter 21 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment against employees. Generally, disputes arise over particular acts (or diverse instances of conduct) and whether it constitutes sexual harassment under law. The totality of circumstances and the context of the sexual harassment situation matters. Sexual harassment therefore requires skillful maneuvering on the part of your litigating attorneys to put forth a persuasive argument categorizing the conduct at-issue in a manner that is favorable to your case.
Sexual harassment encompasses a broad range of behaviors. It may include, but is not necessarily limited, to:
- Requests for sexual favors
- Unwanted advances
- Physical touching of a sexual nature
- Conduct in which sexually-evocative visuals are presented
- Inflammatory sexual language
- Threats to acquiesce to sexual demands or realize adverse employment consequences
Importantly, sexual harassment requires a lack of consent. If an employee receives sexually-evocative imagery from their colleague in a text message, and responds favorably by sending back sexually-evocative imagery, then the employee will likely be deemed to have consented to the sexual communication at-issue.
Further, not all conduct that is inappropriate or unprofessional is necessarily categorized as sexual harassment. Isolated teasing of an employee, or a casual, one-off comment about that employee’s looks are not likely to rise to the level of sexual harassment such that the employee would have an actionable claim. Sexual harassment requires that the behaviors at-issue not only be unwanted, but that be persistent enough to create a hostile work environment.
At Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, our Houston sexual harassment lawyers have years of experience litigating sexual harassment claims on behalf of employers and employees. Sexual harassment claims are quite difficult to litigate, for a number of reasons. Emotions tend to run high in sexual harassment disputes — on both sides. An employee pursuing a legitimate sexual harassment claim will have to contend with the emotional challenge of engaging closely with the subject matter, whereas an employer defending against an unfounded sexual harassment claim will have to contend with the reputation issues associated with sexual harassment litigation and the unexpected liability risks that their business is exposed to.
We understand that the risk calculus differs from client to client. As such, we work closely with clients to develop a fee arrangement that works for them. At Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, we provide cost-efficient counsel that accomplishes our client’s strategic objectives.