Corpus Christi, TX – As a general rule, workplaces have a responsibility to prevent sexual harassment and create a safe work environment for their employees. This will usually result in liability for the employer if there are lawsuits related to harassment that was allowed to take place. However, there are also some cases where an individual person is sued for sexual harassment rather than an employer although it is less likely.
Under the federal laws that explain how sexual harassment claims work and give people the authority to sue, certain supervisors and other individuals within a company may be considered an agent of the company or an employer on their own terms. In most cases, these individuals with some kind of authority would be the ones who are likely to be sued. When using these federal laws as a basis for a cause of action, it is generally not possible to sue the person who is causing the harassment if they are merely a coworker with no authority over the victim.
In many cases, it is the employer that is technically responsible for a hostile work environment. This means that the workplace needs to take steps to stop harassment once it is reported, and train employees as necessary. There have even been cases where employers were sued successfully without any formal notice of harassment in their workplace, but merely because they allowed it to happen. However, as explained, some individuals within the company may technically be an employer as well with an affirmative duty to stop harassment.
Is it practical to collect damages from an individual?
In any civil lawsuit, there are always concerns about the actual ability of the defendant to pay out any related damages. This is why businesses are often targeted in civil cases rather than individuals. They may have relevant insurance or other ways to actually pay out damages, where an individual person may not realistically be able to afford to compensate the victim, even if they are technically liable.
However, there are some victims who want to sue out of principle rather than for more alone. Regardless of the motivation, victims may receive damages related to things like lost income and wages, costs associated with finding new employment, and treatment costs for counseling and therapy.
Legal advice from licensed attorneys
There are employment attorneys who can help with issues related to sexual harassment in the Corpus Christi area. Moore and Associates is a firm that deals with labor law problems and similar matters in Texas.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002