Employers should consider harassment a breach of trust

Sexual harassment can be a problem for companies throughout Texas and the rest of the nation. At Nike, women have raised complaints about managers who have called employees names or made comments about their breasts. A survey was conducted that eventually made its way to the CEO and resulted in the resignation of six executives. One of the reasons why the harassment at Nike occurred was that most of the incidents are referred to as hard cases.

These are cases in which actions seem to indicate harassment but don't actually rise to that level under the law. To meet the legal standard, the actions must be severe or frequent enough in nature that they create a hostile working environment. Some have said that this standard is too high, and companies have decided to offer additional protections as part of their anti-harassment policy. However, prior to the #MeToo movement, companies were reluctant to act.

While supervisors making comments may not seem like a big deal, it could be indicative of what they think about an employee. Employees may feel like they cannot trust their managers, and managers might not be considering promoting those who they see as objects rather than competent workers. Therefore, it can be in a company's best interests to take action even if a manager hasn't done more than make an inappropriate comment.

Workers who have had rude or inappropriate comments made toward them may be the victims of sexual harassment, which is generally barred under employment law. If an employee is treated differently because of his or her gender or other protected attributes, it may be possible to file a complaint. Either in arbitration or in court, workers could pursue financial compensation and other forms of relief from their employers.

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