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New Amendments to Sexual Harassment Law in Texas

2021-09-09

Increases charge filing deadline to 300 days; creates individual liability for supervisors, managers and other agents of the company

The recent amendments to the Texas Labor Code regarding sexual harassment claims will go into effect on September 1, 2021.  HB 21 and SB 45 apply to all Texas employers with respect to sexual harassment claims only.  All other type of charges of discrimination and harassment were not impacted by these amendments.

Sexual harassment

  • Extends the charge filing deadline for sexual harassment claims filed with the Texas Workforce Commission to 300 days.
  • Broadens the definition of “employer” for sexual harassment claims to cover all businesses that employ one or more employees. 
  • Supervisors, managers and other agents can now be subject to individual liability for acts of sexual harassment.  Previously, only the employing entity could be held liable for paying any damage award. 
  • Provisions state that an employer commits an “unlawful employment practice” if “sexual harassment of an employee occurs and the employer or employer’s agents or supervisors:
    • Knew or should have known that the conduct constituting sexual harassment was occurring; and
    • Failed to take immediate and appropriate correction action.”

Other discrimination and harassment charges

  • The charge filing deadline with the Texas Workforce Commission is 180-days.
  • The definition of “employer” includes businesses with 15 or more employees.

Texas employers should ensure that their harassment policies are updated with the new amendments. 

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.