Suffering abuse or an uncomfortable situation at work can be intimidating and overwhelming for many people. Employees that discover they are not the only one that has experienced workplace sexual harassment may feel confident in speaking out, knowing they are not alone. Exposing the painful problem can be difficult and may lead a person to seek professional guidance as they organize their next steps. A lawsuit filed against a Houston-based Mexican restaurant for workplace sexual harassment was recently appealed after going to trial the first time.
The harassment situation took place at a local tamale restaurant where the victims claim they were harassed sexually on multiple occasions. Two women accused the owner of the establishment, who also acted as the operator while they were employed. Reports do not detail the intensity or length of abuse the women may have suffered.
The federal lawsuit was originally dismissed by a U.S. District Court in Texas because the victims were found to have failed to pursue administrative remedies prior to initiating suit. However, an appeals court reversed the decision and sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings. A hearing must now be held to determine whether the women fit within certain allowable exceptions under applicable case law regarding the requirement to first exhaust administrative remedies. Having the ability to seek justice for a seemingly illegal situation can be important to a victim.
Because the case was remanded, the plaintiffs may have the opportunity to pursue their claims. A Houston employee that experiences workplace sexual harassment may question their rights and have anxiety about potential retaliation. A victim may make the choice to pursue legal action as a means of protecting their professional integrity and seeking recovery of monetary damages and related relief.
Source: setexasrecord.com, "Restaurant workers have harassment case remanded", Marilyn Tennissen, Sept. 23, 2014