Current Law Regarding Claims of Sexual Harassment
Additionally, Texas law requires individuals complaining of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation to file a Charge of Discrimination within 180 days of the alleged conduct. Federal law has a similar requirement but a deadline of 300 days.
Texas Legislature Amends Current Law
Slated to go into effect on September 1, 2021, Senate Bill 45 amended the Texas Labor Code to add a new subchapter allowing claims of sexual harassment against employers with as few as one employee. It further provides liability for those who act “directly in the interests of an employer in relation to an employee,” which may impose liability on managers and supervisors.
House Bill 21 amends the Texas Labor Code to increase the 180-day charge filing period to 300 days, but only with respect to sexual harassment claims. All other charges of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under Texas law will still have the 180-day deadline.
Sexual Harassment Claims Going Forward
What remains to be seen is what Texas courts will construe to be “immediate and appropriate” remedial action by the employer and the extent to which individual managers and supervisors can be held liable. Whether similar legislation will be passed in the near future to encompass other claims of discrimination or retaliation is also unclear.