Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

In most Dallas sexual harassment cases, the parties are both of age – that is, above the age of 18. Sometimes, however, the complaining party is underage, leading to additional complications.

Such was the case recently, when a mother brought suit on behalf of her minor daughter, who had allegedly been involved in a relationship with her older, married supervisor at work. At trial, the jury had been allowed to hear only limited testimony about the girl’s willing participation in the affair.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent appellate court case was the mother and next friend of a girl who was the victim of multiple criminal acts committed upon her by her workplace supervisor when she was 16 years old.  According to the plaintiff, the relationship between the girl and her supervisor began when he “bumped into her breasts” (an action for which he apologized) but escalated into a relationship that involved at least 40 instances of unprotected sexual intercourse. Although the actions were not forcible, they were nevertheless illegal owing to the victim’s minority.

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When someone believes that their legal rights may have been violated, there are certain rules, procedures, and laws that apply to the assertion of that individual’s claims. In a Dallas sexual harassment or retaliatory discharge case, one of these procedural requirements is the filing of an administrative claim with the appropriate governmental agency.

Sometimes, a claim is made but the employee later tells a different story when suit is filed – one that includes “facts” not initially reported to the governmental agency. In some cases, this can result in dismissal of the subsequent lawsuit against an employer or former employer.

Facts of the Case

For an employee who believes that he or she has been the victim of a wrongful act in the workplace, an important step in a Dallas employment discrimination lawsuit is the filing of a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of an alleged unlawful employment practice.

When this does not happen, an employer may be able to have a subsequent claim in state or federal court dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to exhaust his or her administrative remedies. Sometimes a claim is filed, but the parties later disagree about whether the plaintiff’s EEOC charge properly put the defendant on notice of his or her allegations.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a bistro manager who alleged that she was the victim of unwanted sexual advances and harassment from the director of dining services at the defendant college. According to the plaintiff, the director touched her inappropriately, made sexual comments to her, kissed her neck, and made lewd comments about her body. She also averred that, after she reported the director’s conduct to the assistant director, she was ordered to close the bistro single-handedly in retaliation for her complaint. She further claimed that, due to her demanding workload, she was hospitalized for high blood pressure and then terminated for insubordination in March 2017. Continue reading

Since Texas is an “employment at-will” state, generally employees can be fired for good cause, no cause, or even bad cause – as long as the “cause” is not illegal under state or federal law (such as age or race discrimination). Still, it is not unusual for a retaliatory discharge claim to be filed against an employer that acted legally. If your business has found itself in this situation, you should talk to a qualified Dallas employment defense attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, the plaintiff was a former employee of a convenience store. She complained that the defendant store had engaged in a retaliatory discharge when it fired her after some 25 years of employment (for 23 years of which she had worked as a store manager). According to the plaintiff, the termination of her employment was a direct result of her reporting an instance of sexual harassment involving a subordinate employee (who claimed to have been sexually harassed by a male store manager).

While we can all agree that there is certain behavior that should never be tolerated in the workplace – sexual assault and quid pro quo, for instance – common sense dictates that not every off-color remark or instance of physical contact should result in a payout to a complaining employee in a Dallas sexual harassment lawsuit.

When the plaintiff in such a case is unable to convince the court that he or she has provided enough evidence to present his or her case to the jury, it is likely that the case will be dismissed prior to trial.

Facts of the Case

Sexual harassment has been a hot topic in the media in recent months, with several well-known celebrities jumping on the “#metoo” bandwagon – some with claims that go back many years (or even decades).

Of course, an allegation is simply one person’s word that a particular act happened; it may or may not be true. While an accusation can damage the alleged offender’s reputation, holding the alleged offender or his or her employer liable in court in a Texas sexual harassment lawsuit can be a much more difficult task. To quote the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in a recent case in which a plaintiff’s claims of same-sex sexual harassment and retaliation were ultimately dismissed, “an employer’s liability is determined by the statute the Legislature enacted, not well-meaning judges.”

Facts of the Case

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