Not all forms of workplace harassment in Texas are sexual in nature. While harassment based on gender, race or religion may receive less attention in the media, employers can still be penalized for allowing it to happen. An example of racial harassment might be the use of a slur in a workplace setting. This may be considered offensive or create a hostile working environment even if the target of the slur doesn’t actually hear it or see it in writing.
Making a comment about a person’s religious views might also be seen as offensive and rise to the level of workplace harassment. As a general rule, any action that makes it difficult or impossible to do a good job at work could violate state or federal employment laws.
Examples of sexual harassment could include touching a person inappropriately or making comments that make them uncomfortable. A person may also be engaging in sexual harassment by sending a suggestive message or photo to a colleague. Asking a colleague about his or her sexual history or orientation will likely be seen as sexual harassment in the workplace. Finally, a person might have committed sexual harassment by staring at another person or otherwise making suggestive gestures in their general direction.
Workers who feel as if colleagues have made suggestive comments or made sexual advances toward them may wish to file formal harassment complaints. If a complaint is not taken seriously, the victim could potentially file a lawsuit against the employer. Employees may also take action if they are retaliated against for making a complaint. Legal counsel could help a client protect their rights whether they decide to file a lawsuit or resolve a case through mediation or arbitration.