Articles Posted in Hostile Work Enviroment

Time does not stop for anyone. There are time limits for filing claims against your employer. In fact, state and federal claims have different deadlines for different types of claims. When pursuing a claim against your employer, it is important to note the statute of limitations for the claim you intend to pursue. The biggest mistake I see employees make is waiting too long to pursue a claim. If the statute of limitations for your claim has expired, you will not be able to pursue your claim – even if you have a strong claim. There’s no way around it. Below are some of the most common employment-related claims and each claim’s respective statute of limitations.

Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, and Retaliation.

Claims of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, must first be filed with the United State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). A complaint with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days of the adverse employment action. An adverse action can range from a write-up to termination. If you do not file a charge of discrimination or retaliation with the EEOC within 300 days of the adverse action, you lose the right to pursue your claims in court.

fadi-yousef“Hostile work environment” and “harassment” are probably two of the most common terms I hear in my everyday practice. Both terms are generally interchangeable under the law and mean the same thing. Workplace harassment takes different forms such as being subjected to yelling, bullying, intimidation, ridicule, belittlement, false accusations, and profanity. Because Texas is an at-will employment state, however, not every harassment is illegal. In fact, most forms of harassment are legal.

There are a few requirements for the harassment to be illegal. First, it must be discriminatory—meaning that it must be based on a protected characteristic, like race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. If the motive behind the harassment is something else that is not protected, like personal hatred or big egos, then the harassment, no matter how awful, is not illegal (with a very narrow exception discussed below).

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