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Employer liable for sexual harassment in Texas in certain cases

Employees may enjoy the challenge of going to work each day and striving to impress their bosses -- enough to get them a raise. However, when they are singled out due to their sex and are harassed on this basis in Texas, the work environment can easily become unpleasant. A recent article explains why employers should be cognizant of how their supervisors treat their employees as far as sexual harassment is concerned.

Experts say that an employer is not automatically responsible for sexual harassment committed by all employees. Rather, the employer is immediately liable for sexual harassment specifically if it is aware of the behavior and fails to take steps to stop it from occurring. This is true even if the harasser is not necessarily a supervisor or manager.

Also, if a supervisor at the company is found to be sexually harassing employees, then the employer is held responsible. A person is considered a supervisor if he or she has the responsibility of hiring and firing, for example. Other supervisory responsibilities, according to law, include transferring, demoting or promoting employees.

Employers in Texas must assume the responsibility of preventing employees from being harassed sexually, acts which may contribute to a hostile or intimidating work environment. Understandably, an employee does not have to accept unwanted sexual advances -- in the workplace or elsewhere. Instead, he or she has the right to pursue a sexual harassment claim against the employer in particular circumstances. Based on the facts of the case, employees be awarded remedies such as monetary damages, related legal relief and even back pay.

Source: HR.BLR.com, Sexual harassment: Is employer liable for shift leader's bad acts?, Charles S. Plumb, Oct. 18, 2013

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