LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
Houston Workplace Harassment Lawyer
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), harassment is a type of employment discrimination that is in direct violation of the Civil Rights Act. Harassment includes any unwelcome, offensive conduct towards a person that is severe enough in nature that it creates a work environment that is intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
While unfortunate, isolated incidents and petty issues and annoyances do not qualify as harassment. The act or behavior must be recurring and pervasive enough that it becomes a condition of continued employment. At Reich & Binstock, we take harassment claims very seriously. If you are a victim of harassment in the workplace, we want to help. Contact us today to see how we can.
What is a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment is the result of continuing harassment in the workplace. Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe and intimidation-free place of work for all employees. Unfortunately, these standards are not always upheld, which results in a hostile work environment.
The harasser can be anyone from the victim’s boss or supervisor to an employee. This includes supervisors or workers in other areas, an agent of the employer, or even a non-employee that frequents the place of work.
Providing a definite example of a hostile work environment can be tricky because it is a subjective term. What is offensive and uncomfortable to one person may not be to another. The EEOC states that the conduct must be severe enough that any reasonable person would consider it intimidating or abusive. The victim of the harassment doesn’t necessarily have to be the person being harassed, either. It can be anyone who is affected by the offensive behavior, conduct, or speech.
What are the Types of Workplace Harassment?
Harassment can come in many forms. One of the more prevalent issues in the workplace is sexual harassment. This can be any kind of unwelcome verbal or physical sexual attention. Though sexual harassment is not a criminal charge, it does violate civil laws in a place of work.
Other common types of harassment in the workplace may include:
- Quid pro quo harassment
- Means “this for that.” Treatment is based on the submission or rejection of unwelcome conduct, generally of a sexual nature.
- Offensive or derogatory jokes
- Racial slurs
- Name calling or epithets
- Ridicule, bullying, insults, or mockery
- Physical assault or threats
- Display of offensive objects or pictures
- Inappropriate gestures or insinuations
- Interference with work performance
Harassment may also be referred to as discrimination. Discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation are all types of harassment.
What are Workplace Harassment Laws in Texas?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are all laws set in place to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination. There are also anti-discrimination laws in place that protect employees from retaliation. Under these laws, employees cannot be retaliated against for any of the following reasons:
- Filing a discrimination claim
- Testifying or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit
- Opposing employment practices that they believe to be discriminatory
Employers are responsible for preventing and correcting unlawful harassment. If you have informed your employer of the behavior and nothing has been done to remedy it, you may file a claim with the EEOC. In many workplaces, there is a process in place for employees to submit grievances, claims, or complaints. Ask your employer for the proper submission process if you have not already been made aware of it.
The EEOC will investigate your complaint. They may either choose to prosecute on your behalf or grant you the right to sue. This is when you would contact a Houston workplace harassment attorney.
Contact A Houston Workplace Harassment Lawyer Today
No one should be subject to harassment, especially in their own work environment. If you believe you have a harassment case, contact experienced Texas attorneys Reich & Binstock today. We will walk you through the claim process and work with you to develop a legal strategy to take your job and your life back. Contact Reich & Binstock for a free consultation at 713-622-7271 or 800-622-7271 toll free or fill out our online intake form here.