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How to spot sexual harassment at work

In 2015, a survey revealed that one out of three women experienced harassment at work at some point. When Texas employees experience such harassment, it may be a violation of their rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits sex discrimination, and sexual harassment is deemed to be a form of discrimination.

Harassment can either take the form of quid pro quo or a hostile working environment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a person's success with a company is largely determined by whether or not they succumb to someone else's sexual advances. A hostile workplace occurs when a person is subject to harassment that is abusive or intimidating in nature. In either scenario, sexual harassment could be anything from unwanted sexual advances to comments about people based on their gender even if they are not sexual in nature.

Actions may rise to the level of sexual harassment if they are pervasive or could be deemed as hostile to a reasonable person. They are also unwelcome or considered abusive by the victim in a subjective manner. The frequency and severity of the harassment a person experiences may play a role in determining if it is considered pervasive from a legal standpoint.

Those who are subject to workplace harassment based on their gender or similar characteristics may have grounds for legal action. In some cases, employees may be entitled to compensation for lost pay because of a wrongful termination or an inability to advance in a company. Legal counsel may use evidence such as a pattern of employees not being promoted based on their gender to help an employee get a favorable result in a case.

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