Houston Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Serving Montgomery, Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria counties
Sexual harassment in the workplace takes many forms, but no matter what type of mistreatment you are facing, you should speak with a qualified Texas employment attorney to learn what type of legal relief is available. If you’ve been pressured by your boss into providing sexual favors or have been subjected to a hostile work environment, The Law Offices of David C. Holmes in Houston can help. Mr. Holmes is an accomplished attorney with more than three decades of experience fighting against discrimination. His straightforward approach to the law allows him to provide honest and frank advice for those who feel they are victims of sexual harassment.
Common examples of sexual harassment in the workplace
Like other forms of sex discrimination, workplace sexual harassment is illegal. Federal and state laws apply regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or the victim. Though most sexual harassment claimants are women, approximately one-sixth of these actions are filed by men. Likewise, you can seek relief whether your aggressor is of a different sex or the same sex as you. Specific actions that form the basis of a sexual harassment complaint include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Unwelcome physical contact
- Lewd jokes
- Offensive verbal communication
- Firing, demotion or other punishment for refusing sexual favors
- Posting or dissemination of explicit images
Many sexual harassment cases turn on the question of whether the conduct in question was unwelcome. While the law does not require a workplace to be free from off-color jokes and sexual references, an employer cannot allow the environment to become so tainted that it affects the terms and conditions of your employment. If you have been a victim of any of these acts you may be entitled to file a sexual harassment suit. Houston discrimination attorney David C. Holmes assists you through the process of filing a complaint.
Hostile work environment and quid pro quo claims
Sexual harassment claims fall into one of the following two categories:
- Quid pro quo claims — When your boss or someone else in a superior position at the workplace pressures you into giving them sexual attention, that is quid pro quo sexual harassment. This can occur, for example, when your manager promises additional benefits or preferential treatment in return for giving in to their advances. Alternatively, these claims can arise when a supervisor threatens you with firing, demotion or some other punishment if you don’t provide sexual favors.
- Hostile work environment claims — Lewd pictures, dirty jokes, unwanted touching and other offensive acts can make the workplace intolerable for someone who is just trying to do their job. You can bring a hostile work environment claim if you’ve being victimized by this type of misbehavior. These sexual harassment actions do not have to involve conduct of a supervisor. Offensive acts from co-workers and even non-employees can justify a hostile work environment case.
For both types of sexual harassment claims, you can count on our firm for knowledgeable advice and skillful representation.
Filing a sexual harassment complaint
Proving sexual harassment can be a complex process, but attorney David C. Holmes is prepared to guide you through each step, including:
- Notifying HR — You don’t have to confront the person harassing you directly if you’re uncomfortable doing so, but they need to be put on notice. We contact human resource departments to give them a chance to investigate the conduct at issue and to implement measures to stop it.
- Recording evidence — If your employer or coworker is making inappropriate advances or remarks, you have the right to record those actions and comments to use for your case. Our firm can advise you on making recordings and collecting other key evidence. In some cases, we might retain an investigator on your behalf.
- Filing an EEOC claim — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will assign you a caseworker if you file a sexual harassment claim, but the process may move slowly. We press for a fair result and keep the process moving so that your case doesn’t slip through the cracks.
Our job is to ensure that our clients have a workplace that is free from sexual harassment. If unwanted comments or behaviors of a sexual nature are creating a hostile workplace, we take the legal actions necessary to obtain proper relief.
Contact a Texas lawyer for a free consultation if you’ve been sexually harassed at work
The Law Offices of David C. Holmes in Houston advocates for Texas victims of workplace sexual harassment. Please 713-586-8862 or contact us online to make an appointment for a free initial consultation.