How can a worker in Houston tell if workplace problems would be considered harassment?
Houston, TX – There are a number of reasons why coworkers might have disagreements or arguments throughout the course of a workday. While some level of conflict is normal, there are specific issues that may rise to the level of legally actionable sexual harassment. Being able to identify problems that are sexual harassment is an important step in the process to report the behavior and make it stop. If the workplace does not seem to be cooperative and the problems continue, the victim may need to retain their own labor lawyer and take formal action through a lawsuit.
Most common forms of workplace harassment
Things like asking for sexual favors in return for employment or promotions, constantly telling sexual or offensive jokes, or creating a hostile work environment that affects a worker’s ability to function are the most clear cut forms of harassment. Work environment problems are especially serious if someone is trying to sabotage a coworkers ability to be productive or give false or negative performance reviews as a pretext for harassment. These problems are almost always related to a worker’s gender or sex in some capacity. However, the victim’s gender does not matter, as anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment.
Work related communications and harassment
With most workers utilizing technology throughout their workday, things like phones and computers can also become a tool for harassment. This can include displaying offensive images and videos, or even sending harassing text messages which can rise to the level of stalking. Things like using workplace communications to facilitate romantic relationships is forbidden in most workplaces.
Investigating improper behavior
If a worker has a one time argument or makes an offensive comment, it is not likely that this would be considered harassment. Most investigations into sexual harassment consider the severity of the conduct in question. While trying to force sexual favors as a condition of continued employment is clearly sexual harassment, a dispute between coworkers that may have involved offensive language will probably not be treated as sexual harassment by any legal standard. It is difficult to give broad answers to whether any particular situation would be considered harassment by an employment commission or in a court of law, as these determinations tend to happen on a case by case basis. Anyone who is concerned should start by reporting improper behavior to their company’s human resources department immediately.
Assistance from employment law firms
Moore and Associates is a firm that handles all kinds of workplace problems, including those related to harassment, discrimination, and unpaid wages. Anyone who is dealing with serious workplace issues can contact one of the firm’s attorneys and decide on a course of action during an initial consultation.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002