State and federal laws prohibit inappropriate workplace behaviors, such as sexual harassment. Despite the laws, some workers may face requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, or otherwise offensive or upsetting behaviors. Should they suffer employment harm due to rejecting inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, it may affect people’s abilities to earn and support themselves and their families.
If their employers do not put a stop to the issue, workers may consider taking formal action with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
State-level sexual harassment complaints
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, people who believe they suffered sexual harassment in the workplace may make a formal complaint with the commission. To initiate the process, they must complete and submit the appropriate complaint form to the TWC. Complainants and respondents may participate in mediation to resolve the dispute, or the commission may assign an investigator to review the facts of the complaint and conduct interviews to determine if discriminatory behavior occurred.
Federal-level sexual harassment complaints
According to the EEOC, people may file discrimination claims based on sexual harassment in person within 30 days of receiving notice of the TWC terminating processing of the charge or within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act. They may make such complaints by telephone, by mail or through the nearest commission office. If people file charges after this time frame, they may lose their right to receive any remedy for the violations of their rights.
People need not subject themselves to inappropriate behavior in the workplace. However, they may try addressing the harassment with the offender, their supervisors or their employers before initiating making a formal complaint.