Even though employers across the country, Texas included, have provided an increase in human resources training regarding harassment in the workplace, situations still arise. Sexual harassment is a huge concern that affects both men and women; no one is immune. It can effect job performance and make employees feel helpless. Economically speaking, the fear of losing a job if a complaint is filed is certainly a valid concern and may prevent some from taking action.
Recently, a federal jury ruled on a case in Texas against a former city administrator for having sexually harassed a former employee. The female employee initially filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, alleging she was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment, and that such an environment prevented her from adequately performing her work responsibilities as a court clerk. She also claimed she was fired shortly after filing her complaint with the EEOC.
The jury ruled partially in her favor. It was determined that the sexual harassment did take place. The City of Huntington has been ordered to pay a settlement of $5,000 to the former employee, for the pain and suffering she has endured due to the harassment. However, it was also determined that there wasn't significant evidence to prove she was fired due to her sexual harassment complaint.
Harassment in the workplace should never be considered acceptable. Those who feel they have been subjected to sexual harassment while on the job, may be able to pursue legal recourse. Complaints can be made with the EEOC and a civil claim may also be filed with the Texas court system. If sufficient evidence of misbehavior is established, financial compensation may be awarded.
Source: ktre.com, "Federal jury rules that former Huntington municipal court clerk was sexually harassed", Gary Bass, June 2, 2014