Many Texas women continue to suffer from sexual harassment on the job, despite the recent media attention directed at this type of workplace misconduct. When workers are subjected to unwanted sexual advances, they may be unsure about the steps they might take to protect themselves. This type of mistreatment is unlawful under federal civil rights law, and people can lose out on important career opportunities and salary increases as a result. Victims of sexual harassment may also face physical and mental health effects related to the mistreatment.
Not every type of unwelcome comment qualifies as sexual harassment, although some individual incidents are egregious enough to rise to the level of unlawful behavior, especially when coming from a supervisor. In addition to direct demands for sexual activities, sexual assault and unwanted touching, sexual harassment may also include a hostile work environment that is intimidating and offensive, making it difficult to carry on with the normal process of work. While sexual harassment may be the best-known type of workplace harassment, a hostile work environment may also reflect race, age, disability or other discrimination.
Slurs, threats, unwanted advances, offensive photos and jokes and derogatory names may all be part of workplace harassment. The harassment can come from a superior, a co-worker or even a client who is given free reign for inappropriate behavior.
Women facing sexual harassment or other types of workplace discrimination may look for solutions to protect themselves. An employment law attorney may guide workers about how they can take action, including filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the first official step outside the company in most cases.