Texas: Sexual Harassment Protections Expanded


All Employers with TX Employees


September 1, 2021


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(888) 378-2456

Texas recently passed a couple of bills expanding protections for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Note that the new rules are exclusive to sexual harassment claims, and do not apply to discrimination on any other protected category basis.

HB 21 extends the time employees must file a sexual harassment claim with the Texas Workforce Commission from 180 days to 300 days. The new timeframe applies to alleged sexual harassment occurring on or after September 1, 2021.

SB 45 creates individual liability for supervisors, managers, human resource professionals, coworkers, and other third parties who are found to violate sexual harassment prohibitions. Specifically, the definition of “employer” will now also include any person who “acts directly in the interests of an employer in relation to an employee.” The bill also changes the standard of liability for an “employer” to when they “(1) know or should have known that the conduct constituting sexual harassment was occurring; and (2) fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.” Employers should ensure robust reporting and investigation procedures are in place to respond to claims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Action Items

  1. Have sexual harassment policies updated.
  2. Have employees trained on sexual harassment prevention and reporting procedures.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

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