There has been an increased focus on sexual harassment in the workplace in the United States and Houston is no exception. This type of behavior has been prevalent for a long time and while laws have been in place for a while as well, sexual harassment continues to occur. There are many different examples of sexual harassment. It does not always need to be overt sexual advancements, it can also include more subtle actions.
While there are many different ways that sexual harassment can occur, there are two main categories of sexual harassment. One is known as quid pro quo harassment and the other is hostile work environment harassment.
Quid pro quo harassment
This type of sexual harassment occurs when employment decisions are being made based on the employees’ responses to sexual advances. This could be firing or demoting an employee when they resist sexual advances or offering promotions or pay increases in exchange for sexual favors.
Hostile work environment harassment
This harassment occurs when the interactions between co-workers or clients are inappropriate, general sexual comments being made, sexual jokes being made, photos or videos of a sexual nature being shared at the workplace, unwanted touching and other actions that create an uncomfortable and offensive work environment. For it to be a hostile work environment though, it has to be more than an occasional comment. It must be persistent and consistent enough that a reasonable person would find hostile.
Employees who experience either type of sexual harassment may be able to help hold the offenders accountable for their actions and also be compensated for the damages they suffer as a result.
Sexual harassment can come in many different forms and there are many victims of sexual harassment in the Houston area. These victims have rights and should not be subjected to this type of harassment. These are very fact-specific cases though and it is not always easy to prove. Experienced attorneys understand the facts needed to prove these matters and may be able to guide one through the process.