In the event a Texas employee experiences harassment or discrimination in the workplace, they should notify their employer of the unwanted or offensive conduct immediately. In response to such a report, an employer is required to take prompt remedial measures to rectify the situation. Under Texas law, employment discrimination and harassment occur when an individual or group of individuals are treated differently because of their race, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, pregnancy, or disability.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) records and manages data on employment discrimination and harassment across the United States. According to the EEOC, although workplace harassment and discrimination can take many forms, the reports they receive often follow one of several commonly occurring situations. Generally, most complaints occur when an employee has suffered discriminatory harassment based on their protected class. While discrimination may be obvious in some case, more often discrimination based on a protected class is masked behind seemingly innocuous statements and behaviors. This may lead employees to delay reporting the situation for fear of retaliation or ridicule.
Employers have the responsibility to listen to their employee and follow the employer’s own policies and procedures for handling these sorts of complaints. Employers should also interview the parties involved, conduct a thorough investigation, cooperate with authorities, and take prompt remedial action. This action may include coaching, counseling, suspension, or even termination of the offending party. Of course, employers cannot retaliate against their employees for making a discrimination claim. Further, if the harasser is a supervisor, employers are automatically liable for any discrimination.