Texas Workplace Sexual Harassment FAQ’s

At The Galo Law Firm, our legal team has faced countless Texas sexual harassment cases and understands that each case is unique and requires a unique approach. Let our lawyers take on the legal system for you, and ensure that your rights are defended.

Call us at 210-764-6135 today to learn how you can protect your rights. We take pride in representing clients in sexual harassment cases throughout various cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Austin, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, and more.

What Is Considered Workplace Sexual Harassment in Texas?

Sexual harassment can be heavily nuanced, and each case can vary in severity, type, and who committed the harassment versus who was subjected to it.

Sexual harassment is commonly defined as any type of unwanted sexual conduct, whether that’s advances, comments, or requests for sexual favors. Regardless of gender or sexuality, everyone is susceptible to experiencing sexual harassment, and it can be expressed physically through touching and non-consensual advances, as well as verbally or in writing. Sexually harassing behavior can involve inappropriate touching, inappropriate comments on another person’s appearance, using sexually explicit language, or sharing inappropriate photos or material.

If continual, such conduct can create a hostile work environment for the victim, potentially leading to emotional distress and even fear for their safety, professional commitments, and general well-being. This behavior can happen in many contexts, in and out of work, educational spaces, as well as in public.

When it comes to sexual harassment, consent may be the most important factor. If anyone communicates that they don’t want certain behaviors happening, and the perpetrator uses their position of power or authority to continue to engage in such behavior, it can quickly be seen as sexual harassment.

Bottom line, sexual harassment is a breach of civil rights, and it can even be found as a violation of criminal law and punishable in court. If the above definitions sound familiar to you, we urge you to get in contact with our Texas sexual harassment lawyers at The Galo Law Firm to overview your case and determine how to protect your rights.

Legal Framework for Sexual Harassment

Texas has both federal and state statutes that make certain sexual harassment illegal, and preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace is a necessary requirement for Texas employers.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act explicitly prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex or permitting sexual harassment to occur in the workplace.

The Texas Labor Code similarly prohibits workplace discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, enforcing all Texas workplaces to comply with the standards of a healthy and safe workplace.

Texas educational institutions are subject to laws prohibiting sexual harassment that require implementing both policies and procedures for the prevention and response to such incidents. This applies to both K – 12 schools as well as colleges and universities.

Sexual harassment isn’t always confined to civil matters and can be a breach of the Texas Penal Code if found severe enough. Perpetrators of severe sexual harassment can face serious criminal charges and penalties.

Although Texas has a legal framework to confront sexual harassment, it ultimately depends on the victim to confront the behavior either through workplace complaints, lawsuits, or other legal intervention. It may be intimidating to confront a sexual harasser on your own, but know that there is a legal system in place to help you.

What is the Role of Consent in Texas Sexual Harassment Cases?

When it comes to sexual harassment cases, consent plays a crucial role that can’t be ignored. For any sexual encounter, it’s essential for both parties to give clear, informed, and enthusiastic consent. If consent isn’t given, that can be the first indicator that sexual harassment is underway. Regardless of what the perpetrator perceives, it’s critical that consent is clear, especially in a workplace or educational setting where power structures can easily be abused.

When it comes to sexual harassment in power dynamics, consent can become harder to interpret. In an academic or work setting, individuals may feel pressure to engage in sexual acts with someone in a position of authority and it can be difficult to determine if the consent was uncoerced or given in the first place.

If your consent, whether it was affirmative or negative, was ignored by another individual, it may be best to speak with a Texas sexual harassment lawyer to determine how exactly your rights have been violated, and if the behavior constitutes criminal conduct.

What Types of Sexual Harassment are Considered a Crime in Texas?

While sexual harassment in Texas is primarily addressed through civil laws rather than specific criminal statutes, it’s important to note that certain actions related to sexual harassment can still result in criminal charges. Texas penal code identifies multiple forms of sexual harassment that can be regarded as punishable offenses. 

Sexual Assault or Sexual Battery

This involves any non-consensual sexual contact or actions that violate a person’s physical boundaries. This includes unwelcome sexual advances, touching, groping, forced sexual interactions, or sexual violence. Such behavior is a clear violation of someone’s rights and autonomy.

Indecent Exposure

Intentionally exposing one’s private parts or engaging in sexual acts in public or in front of others without their consent can be considered sexual harassment and result in criminal charges.


Stalking refers to the unwanted tracking, surveillance, and harassment of a person. It can involve unwanted communication and behaviors that invade a person’s privacy, causing them to fear for their safety. Stalking can cause significant distress and discomfort for the victim, and be found as a criminal offense if proven.

False Imprisonment

When someone is held against their will or not allowed to move freely, it can be seen as unlawful confinement. In situations involving this type of physical harassment, this can involve forcibly restricting someone’s movement within a confined space or preventing them from leaving a location and can involve forcing sexual misconduct. Such behavior is a violation of an individual’s rights and can be considered an illegal act in a court of law.

What are the Steps to Reporting and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Texas?

Having to deal with sexual harassment in Texas is a serious issue that requires action. The following are the initial steps to take to protect yourself.

  • Prioritize your safety: If you’re in immediate danger, make sure to prioritize your well-being by contacting emergency services or the police.
  • Keep a record: It’s crucial to document everything you can about sexual harassment. Take note of the dates, times, locations, and detailed descriptions of what happened if you can. If possible, gather any evidence or identify witnesses. Your records can serve as a defense when you go to report the harassment.
  • Know your rights: Get acquainted with the Texas Labor Code and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, which safeguards employees in the workplace. Similarly, the Texas Penal Code addresses criminal offenses related to sexual harassment.
  • Report to your employer: If it’s workplace sexual harassment, it’s essential to report it to your employer or the human resources department. Follow their established procedures and provide them with the evidence you’ve collected. Once you’ve reported it, your employer has a legal obligation to investigate and take appropriate action. Be prepared to articulate your account of the sexually harassing behavior.
  • File a complaint: In certain situations, you may need to file a complaint. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Civil Rights Division handles workplace discrimination complaints, while criminal offenses should be reported either to the Texas Department of Public Safety or your local law enforcement.
  • Seek legal guidance: Consider seeking advice from an attorney who specializes in employment, sexual harassment cases, or civil rights law. An attorney can inform you of your rights, help you navigate the legal realm, and advocate on your behalf if needed.
  • Use support networks: We recommend reaching out to friends and family for support, or specialized organizations that are committed to providing assistance for survivors of sexual assault.

Addressing workplace sexual harassment requires courage and persistence. Each situation is unique, so you may need to adapt these steps to fit your circumstances. However, stay persistent, and know that you have the power to stand up against harassment and defend your rights.

Texas Employee Workplace Sexual Harassment FAQ’s:

To obtain specific guidance regarding workplace sexual harassment in Texas, it is advisable to seek the counsel of a reputable attorney from The Galo Law Firm.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, it is important to document the incidents, report the harassment to your employer following their established procedures, and consider seeking legal advice from an attorney specializing in employment law.

Sexual harassment in the workplace refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. It can include behaviors such as unwanted touching, sexual jokes or comments, displaying explicit materials, or making employment decisions based on sexual favors.

Employees in Texas are protected from sexual harassment under federal laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, in the workplace. Additionally, the Texas Labor Code provides further protections against sexual harassment and may have specific provisions applicable to certain industries or sectors.

Yes, Texas law protects individuals from sexual harassment regardless of their gender or the gender of the harasser. Same-sex sexual harassment can be a violation of Texas labor laws.

In certain circumstances, an employer may be held liable for sexual harassment by a coworker if they were aware of the harassment and failed to take appropriate action to address it.

Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment is illegal. You should document the retaliation, and consult with an attorney to protect your rights.

Various protections are in place to safeguard employees from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. These protections may include provisions under federal and state laws that prohibit employers from taking adverse actions, such as termination, demotion, or harassment, against employees who report sexual harassment in good faith. If retaliation occurs, you may have the right to pursue legal action against your employer.

Employers who fail to address sexual harassment appropriately may face legal consequences, including civil lawsuits filed by victims seeking compensation for damages such as emotional distress, lost wages, and other related losses. Employers may also be subject to administrative actions by governmental agencies, such as investigations, fines, and court-ordered remedies.

Yes, you can file a lawsuit against your employer for sexual harassment in Texas. By pursuing a legal claim, you may seek damages for the harm you have suffered, including emotional distress, lost wages, attorney fees, and potentially punitive damages. It is advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in employment law to assess the specific circumstances of your case and guide you through the legal process.

If you witness sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important to take it seriously and take appropriate action. This may involve reporting the incident to your supervisor, human resources, or any designated authority within your organization. Providing support to the victim, encouraging them to report the harassment, and maintaining confidentiality are also essential steps. However, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney to understand your legal obligations and ensure you are taking the appropriate actions in your specific situation.

While you can report sexual harassment anonymously, it may limit the effectiveness of the investigation. Consult with your employer or an attorney to understand the available options for anonymous reporting in your specific workplace.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a sexual harassment claim can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the applicable laws. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney to understand the time limits that apply to your case.

Yes, under certain circumstances, employers can be held responsible for sexual harassment by clients or customers if they fail to take appropriate action to address and prevent such harassment.

Yes, it is possible to seek compensation for emotional distress and other damages resulting from workplace sexual harassment. Consult with an attorney to understand the potential remedies available in your specific case.

Texas Employer’s Workplace Sexual Harassment FAQ’s 

Texas employers often have questions and concerns about workplace sexual harassment to ensure compliance with the law and create a safe work environment. It’s always best to consult with a qualified attorney from The Galo Law Firm.

Sexual harassment in the workplace refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other form of verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. It includes actions or behaviors that interfere with an employee’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Preventing sexual harassment requires implementing effective policies and practices. This involves developing and disseminating a comprehensive anti-harassment policy, conducting regular training sessions for employees, fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity, promptly addressing complaints, and ensuring a fair and impartial investigation process.

When an employee reports sexual harassment, employers have a legal obligation to take immediate and appropriate action. This includes conducting a prompt and thorough investigation, maintaining confidentiality to the extent possible, addressing any identified misconduct, preventing retaliation against the complainant, and providing support to affected individuals.

Yes, under certain circumstances, an employer may be held liable for the actions of their employees in cases of sexual harassment. Employers can be directly liable if they knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and effective corrective action. Additionally, employers can be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees if harassment occurs within the scope of employment.

While Texas does not have specific state-mandated training requirements, it is strongly recommended that employers provide regular sexual harassment prevention training to employees. Such training demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a harassment-free workplace and can help educate employees about their rights and responsibilities.

When a complaint of sexual harassment is made, it is crucial to respond promptly and appropriately. This involves conducting a fair and impartial investigation, ensuring confidentiality to the extent possible, interviewing relevant parties and witnesses, documenting findings, taking appropriate disciplinary action if warranted, and providing support to the complainant and affected individuals.

The potential legal consequences for a company if sexual harassment occurs can include civil lawsuits filed by victims seeking damages, potential fines and penalties imposed by regulatory agencies, negative publicity, harm to the company’s reputation, and decreased employee morale. It is essential to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment and address complaints promptly to mitigate these risks.

Termination of an employee accused of sexual harassment must be handled carefully to minimize legal risks. It is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence and determine the validity of the accusation. If the investigation substantiates the claim, employers may take appropriate disciplinary action, including termination, but should ensure they follow established procedures and consult with legal counsel to mitigate potential legal repercussions.

For specific guidance related to workplace sexual harassment in Texas, it is recommended to consult with a trusted attorney from The Galo Law Firm.

Speak With a Texas Sexual Harassment Attorney Today

Experiencing sexual harassment can have hugely detrimental effects on the victims, affecting both their professional and personal lives. Whether you’re certain you’ve been sexually harassed or have doubts about your rights when it comes to sexual harassment laws, we urge you to reach out to our sexual harassment attorneys at The Galo Law Firm.

Our legal experts have specialized practice in Texas sexual harassment cases and are available to guide you through yours. By consulting with one of our attorneys, you’ll receive personalized attention and advice tailored to your specific situation.

Our legal team can inform you of your rights, help you navigate the necessary legal procedures, and fight for your best interests along the way. As well, beyond the legal aspects, our compassionate legal team can provide you with the emotional support you need in this challenging time.

Consult with a Texas sexual harassment attorney who will stand by your side throughout this journey.

Call The Galo Law Firm today to get started fighting for your rights. Call 210-764-6135.

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