Professional Service Agreement

Texas Expands Employee Sexual Harassment Protections Beyond Federal Title VII

September 09, 2021

Texas employment laws have historically tracked their federal counterparts and generally favored employers; however, amendments to the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) expanded sexual harassment protections for Texas employees beyond the protections of Title VII. Most notably, the amendments expand the definition of “employer” and may extend liability to individual supervisors. Under the revised TCHRA, employees may be able to bring claims against managers or supervisors who had actual or constructive knowledge of sexual harassment if they (or the company) failed to take immediate remedial action. The TCHRA applies to all employers. Potential plaintiffs presenting state-law discrimination claims have long been required to file a charge with the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days of the events that form the basis of their claims. Now, employees alleging sexual harassment will have 300 days from the date of the alleged harassment in which to file a charge.