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Texas expands employee harassment protections

Texas workers as well as their employers should know about the new laws the state has implemented regarding sexual harassment. The laws took effect on Sept. 1, 2021 as amendments to the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act or TCHRA. This is the state version of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and protects people from discrimination and harassment based on protected statuses. Here is what employers need to know.

All employers are subject to TCHRA regarding sexual harassment claims

Per the new state employment law, all employers are subject to TCHRA when sexual harassment claims are filed. Previously, only those with 15 or more employees were affected by this law. Even employers that have one employee can be found liable for sexual harassment on the job.

Liability now extends to managers and supervisors

Before the changes to the employment law, sexual harassment claims could not be brought against managers or supervisors. However, employees can now bring individual claims against their manager or supervisor if they have faced sexual harassment from them.

Employees have extended time to file a sexual discrimination claim

Previously, per employment law, employees who believe they were sexually harassed at work in Texas only had 180 days to file a claim. Now, they have as long as 300 days to file with the Texas Workforce Commission.

If you have faced workplace sexual harassment, you have rights under both state and federal law, and you should fight back. Speak up and file a complaint.