San Antonio Sexual Harassment Attorney

Compassionate Sexual Harassment Lawyers Fighting for Justice 

Sexual harassment has no place in today’s workplace. The workplace should be somewhere you feel safe and respected. If you are suffering unwanted comments, unwelcome sexual advances, inappropriate touching, or other forms of sexual harassment at work it is incredibly frustrating and can feel humiliating.

In San Antonio, TX, you are protected by both state and federal labor and employment law. You have a right not to be harassed at work and if you have suffered this form of abuse you can hold your employer accountable and hire a sexual harassment lawyer in San Antonio to seek damages against them.

Not only could you be financially compensated for your suffering, you may also protect others from going through what you have been through in the future.

In order to have a successful claim, it is important to seek help from a Texas sexual harassment attorney who can guide you. At The Galo Law Firm, our harassment lawyers will make sure that you follow the proper legal protocols and that your legal rights are protected.

We are proud to represent clients throughout Texas including San Antonio, LaredoAustinBrownsvilleCorpus Christi, Webb County, and across southern Texas.

Workplace Sexual Harassment in Texas: Understanding Your Rights

Workplace sexual harassment in Texas refers to unwelcome and offensive behavior of a sexual nature that occurs within the professional setting. This behavior creates an environment that is intimidating, hostile, or uncomfortable for an employee. It is important to understand that workplace sexual harassment can take various forms, and it is not limited to physical interactions or the immediate workspace. It can also extend to interactions among employees outside of official work-related contexts.

Examples of Workplace Sexual Harassment:

  1. Quid Pro Quo Harassment: This type of harassment involves a situation where a supervisor or person in a position of authority offers employment benefits or opportunities in exchange for sexual favors. It might include promising promotions, raises, or job security in return for engaging in sexual activities.

  2. Hostile Work Environment: A hostile work environment is created when pervasive and offensive sexual comments, jokes, images, or conduct make it difficult for an employee to perform their job effectively. These behaviors may be unwelcome and can create an intimidating or offensive atmosphere.

  3. Unwanted Advances: Persistent and unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, or requests for sexual favors that negatively impact an employee’s work environment can be considered sexual harassment.

  4. Offensive Comments: Inappropriate remarks, jokes, or comments of a sexual nature that contribute to a hostile or uncomfortable work atmosphere may qualify as sexual harassment.

  5. Retaliation: If an employee experiences adverse actions, such as demotion, termination, or negative treatment, after reporting or opposing sexual harassment, it could be considered retaliation and is prohibited by law.

  6. Cyber Harassment: Unwanted and offensive online behavior of a sexual nature, including sharing explicit content or messages electronically among employees, can constitute sexual harassment.

  7. Non-Physical Harassment: Behavior that is psychologically or emotionally distressing, such as verbal abuse, threats, or intimidation related to an individual’s gender or sexual orientation, may also be considered sexual harassment.

  8. Third-Party Harassment: Instances where clients, customers, or vendors engage in harassing behavior and the employer fails to address or prevent it, can also be classified as sexual harassment.

Your Rights and Legal Protections:

In Texas, workplace sexual harassment is prohibited by both federal and state laws. These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Labor Code, which safeguard employees from gender-based discrimination, including sexual harassment. If you believe you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, you have the right to:

  1. Report the harassment to your employer or human resources department.
  2. Be protected from retaliation for reporting or opposing sexual harassment.
  3. Seek legal action to address and rectify the situation.

It’s important to document any incidents of harassment, keep records of communication, and seek legal advice if you’re unsure about how to proceed. If you believe you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment, consulting with experienced legal professionals can help you understand your rights, explore your options, and take appropriate steps to protect your well-being and professional environment.

An employer standing over a female employee with his hand on her shoulder. If you're experiencing sexual harassment at work our San Antonio sexual harassment lawyers will support you in your pursuit of a lawsuit.

Skilled Sexual Harassment Lawyer in San Antonio

You have the right to fair treatment in the workplace, and if you have suffered harassment at work, you also have a right to speak up. With support from our San Antonio sexual harassment attorney at The Galo Law Firm, you will have the resources and guidance you need to take back your power.

Our employment law firm represents people in sexual harassment cases from both sides. Sometimes, people may raise unjust claims.

Our sexual harassment attorneys in San Antonio understands cases from both defense and prosecution, which gives us an in-depth understanding and the ability to expertly guide you through your case.

Our San Antonio sexual harassment lawyers are committed to your rights and best interests. We will fight for an out-of-court settlement where possible but we are also prepared to fight for you in a state or federal court if necessary. We pride ourselves on our dedication to the attorney-client relationship and will take a highly personalized approach from beginning to end.

Contact our law office today and arrange a consultation with a San Antonio sexual harassment lawyer at 210-361-8043.

Sex-Based Harassment vs. Sexual Harassment?

Harassment is a broad term that can include any unwanted behavior both verbal and physical, that makes a reasonable person feel humiliated, uncomfortable, or mentally distressed, it is not necessarily of a sexual nature.

The law doesn’t prohibit offhand comments, isolated incidents that are not very serious, or simple teasing. Harassment becomes illegal when it is so severe or frequent that it creates an offensive or hostile work environment, or it results in an unjust employment decision, such as the victim being fired.

Sex-Based Harassment

Sex-based harassment at work can include offensive remarks about someone’s sex. Sex-based harassment is illegal, as gender is a protected characteristic under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by repeatedly making offensive comments about women in general.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at work is a form of sex discrimination. It is also illegal under the Civil Rights Act and includes unwanted sexual advances, sexual comments, sexual assault, pornography, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Both the harasser and the victim can be either men or women, and they can be of the same sex or different sexes. The harasser could be a supervisor, co-worker, or even a client or customer.

The Illegality of Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment in Texas refers to unwelcome and offensive behavior of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or uncomfortable environment for an employee.

Our sexual harassment attorneys in San Antonio often speak to victims who are confused about what is classified as illegal and actionable sexual harassment. Sexual harassment occurs under two sets of circumstances:

  • When harassment leads to a hostile work environment
  • “Quid quo pro” harassment is where an employee is denied benefits or compensations such as advancement or pay because of their refusal to engage in unwelcome sexual activity.

A woman standing in front of male coworkers who are making inappropriate comments about her. If you're experiencing illegal sexual harassment at work we recommend contacting a sexual harassment lawyer for guidance.

Sexual Harassment in Hostile Work Environments 

This type of sexual harassment at work occurs when someone subjects you to continuous remarks about your body, engages in unwanted physical touching, requests sexual favors, or makes suggestive comments about sexual acts, and other unwanted sexual conduct.

Generally, harassment must be sufficiently pervasive or severe to impact the conditions of the victim’s employment, thereby creating an abusive work environment.

If you feel anxious about going to work because of continual sexual harassment, or if it has caused you to resign, then it is severe enough for you to hold an employer responsible. Even if an employer was not the one to harass you, if they should have known and could have taken steps to stop it then they can be held responsible.

If you are harassed by another employee, client, or anyone else in the workplace, it is important that you report it to your employer. If they fail to act then they can be held liable for the conduct of a third party.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addresses both ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ sexual harassment. Positive sexual harassment is where an employer rewards an employee for submitting to sexual harassment.

For example, if an equally-qualified employee is denied a promotion in favor of another employee who participated in sexual banter or performed sexual favors, then the employee who was denied the promotion can sue for sexual harassment.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

‘Quid pro quo’ is a Latin phrase that means an exchange of goods or services. This type of harassment involved a demand for sexual favors in exchange for work advancement, such as a raise or change in the job title.

Our San Antonio sexual harassment lawyers often see cases where victims are terminated, demoted, or see a decrease in shifts for refusing to cooperate, which is also illegal.

You could also be a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment if a less qualified employee receives a promotion ahead of you because they granted sexual favors.

An employer can escape liability in a quid quo scenario if they took reasonable steps to prevent it and the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any protective opportunities to avoid the harm.

Reporting Sexual Harassment in San Antonio, TX

Usually, you are required to lodge a formal complaint with your employer before bringing a sexual harassment claim to a government agency or a court. Failure to do so may result in a forfeiture of your legal rights.

Your first point of contact may be your supervisor unless they themselves are the perpetrator. If so you may need to report directly to your supervisor’s supervisor, or your HR department. It is important that you make the report in writing and that you are able to prove that you did so.

Once you have gone through the proper methods with your employer, and if they fail to act, then you can make a claim against them with help from a sexual harassment attorney in San Antonio.

Protection Against Retaliation for Reporting Workplace Sexual Harassment

Reporting sexual harassment in the workplace takes courage and is a critical step toward ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all employees. However, in some unfortunate cases, individuals who come forward with their experiences may face retaliation from their employers or colleagues. Retaliation is not only unjust but also illegal under various employment laws. Understanding your rights and taking action is essential to safeguarding yourself and holding those responsible accountable.

What Constitutes Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when an employer or coworkers take adverse actions against an employee who has reported or opposed sexual harassment. Such actions can include:

  1. Termination or Demotion: Being fired, demoted, or having job responsibilities reduced as a direct result of reporting harassment.

  2. Isolation and Ostracism: Being deliberately excluded from work activities, meetings, or social events, creating a hostile and isolating environment.

  3. Unwarranted Discipline: Being subjected to excessive or unfair disciplinary actions that were not warranted before the report.

  4. Negative Performance Reviews: Receiving unjustifiably negative performance evaluations following the harassment report.

  5. Change in Work Conditions: Assigning undesirable shifts, relocating workstations, or altering job responsibilities as a form of punishment.

  6. Intimidation or Threats: Facing threats, intimidation, or bullying as a means to discourage reporting or discourage pursuing legal action.

Protecting Your Rights: If you believe you are experiencing retaliation after reporting sexual harassment, it’s crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Document Everything: Keep a detailed record of all incidents related to the harassment report and subsequent retaliation, including dates, times, individuals involved, and any evidence.

  2. Consult HR or Management: If you feel comfortable, discuss your concerns with your HR department or higher management, as they might not be aware of the retaliation taking place.

  3. Seek Legal Counsel: If the retaliation persists or escalates, consult an experienced employment attorney who specializes in workplace harassment and retaliation cases. They can provide guidance on the best course of action and help protect your rights.

  4. Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the anti-retaliation laws in your jurisdiction, as they vary by location. In the United States, for example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting harassment.

  5. Preserve Evidence: Retain any emails, messages, documents, or witnesses that can support your claim of retaliation. These can be crucial in building a strong case.

Taking a Stand: Reporting sexual harassment is an important step in creating a safer and more respectful workplace for everyone. Retaliation, however, is not only counterproductive but also illegal. By understanding your rights and seeking the appropriate legal guidance, you can protect yourself and contribute to a culture of accountability. Remember that you are not alone—there are legal professionals ready to support you in your pursuit of justice and fair treatment.

Evidencing Your Claim

Sexual harassment cases can be challenging to prove, it is often your word against theirs. You should document everything that happens in a journal and keep copies of any correspondence such as complaints to HR, or any other relevant documents.

In Texas, you are also permitted to make audio recordings of conversation without the other parties’ knowledge or consent, as long as you are in the same room as the recording device.

When you seek guidance from a San Antonio sexual harassment lawyer they can also help to obtain evidence and advise you on how to do so.

Compensation for Sexual Harassment

If you have suffered sex-based harassment or sexual harassment in Texas, then you could be owed compensatory and punitive damages.

While compensatory damages pay victims for any expenses related to the discrimination such as those associated with medical expenses, lost wages, and searching, as well as compensation for any emotional harm such as loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish.

Punitive damages on the other hand are awarded to punish the employer who has committed an especially reckless or malicious act of discrimination.

Limits on Punitive & Compensatory Damages

There are limits to the number of damages you can recover from a harassment case, which vary depending on the size of the employer.

  • For organizations with 15-100 employees, there is a $50,000 limit.
  • For organizations with 101-200 employees, there is a $100,000 limit.
  • For organizations with 201-500 employees, there is a $200,000 limit.
  • For organizations with more than 500 employees, there is a $300,000 limit.

Deadline For Sexual Harassment Claims in Texas

When you have been sexually harassed, you have a limited amount of time to make a claim to protect your right to compensation. You should speak to a San Antonio sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible, as they will get right to work to ensure you have the strongest case possible.

You have just 180 days after the date you were discriminated against to file with the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (or cross-file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -EEOC) to preserve your claim under state law.

Under federal law, you must file with the EEOC (or cross-file with the state agency), within 300 days from the date you were discriminated against.

You could have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, so the sooner you seek representation from a sexual harassment attorney in San Antonio the better. Especially if you are a governmental employee, as the state may have certain immunities that are tricky to navigate.

A man sitting close to a female coworker and making her feel uncomfortable. A sexual harassment attorney in San Antonio can help you navigate this scary and confusing process.

Sexual Harassment Lawyers Dedicated to Fighting For You

Damages for sexual harassment, hostile work environment and other workplace harassment claims can be high, and employers often deny wrongdoing and will even protect harassers. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer in San Antonio can document the occurrences and emotional and economic harm, work to prove the guilt of the employer and work to secure a fair compensation for the victim.

Attorney Michael Galo has significant trial experience, and has tried numerous employment law cases in state and federal courts. He has also provided counsel and representation to employers in all areas of employment law, and knows how companies operate and how they defend against sexual harassment cases.

His unique experience serving both sides of sexual harassment cases, combined with his record of success, ensure he has the skill and knowledge to provide effective sexual harassment legal services.

Contact Our Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Galo Law Firm Today

If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, then it is essential that you seek guidance from a respected sexual harassment lawyer in San Antonio. You deserve to be treated with respect and to feel safe and comfortable in your workplace.

At The Galo Law Firm, our legal specialization has been employment law since 1994. Our experienced San Antonio employment attorneys will ensure that you follow all the proper legal steps so that your rights are protected. We will fight aggressively on your behalf whether you are the employee who has been sexually harassed or an employer who has been wrongfully accused.

Contact The Galo Law Firm today and arrange a consultation with a San Antonio sexual harassment attorney at 210-361-804

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