San Antonio Employment Law Blog

Texas lawsuit alleges sexual harassment, wrongful termination

A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging that she was retaliated against and ultimately fired for filing sexual harassment complaints about a fellow employee. In her employment records, the woman’s former employer claims that she refused to perform her assigned work. However, the woman claims that she was merely complying with the terms of the government contract under which she was employed.

In her wrongful termination lawsuit, the woman alleges that the sexual harassment began in October 2009 when a male coworker began to make “inappropriate and cruel comments of a sexual nature” which caused her to be very uncomfortable. Specifically, the suit claims, the coworker discussed the woman’s recently-deceased husband and the effect of his death on her sexual activity. The woman soon filed a formal complaint against her coworker.

After the complaint was made, the woman’s employer, a government contracting agency, launched an internal investigation into her coworker’s alleged harassment. At the same time, she began experiencing retaliation for making the complaint.

The employment lawsuit claims that a friend of her coworker was assigned to supervise her work. That friend reported that that the woman was “resistant to change” and that she “refused to perform certain types of work.” Those claims ultimately led to the woman’s firing. Prior to the end of her employment, the woman claims, she continued to be harassed by her coworkers.

The coworker that initially harassed the woman was not named as a defendant in the suit. It is not known whether he was penalized for the sexual harassment.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, “Suit: Woman retaliated against for complaints about ‘uncomfortable’ comments,” John Suayan, Nov. 2, 2012

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