If I was sexually harassed by my supervisor, is my employer just as guilty?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I was sexually harassed by my supervisor, is my employer just as guilty?

I was asking my supervisor what I could do to get PTO because I needed to take off but didn’t have much, he said well I could give you some money and you could go get me and you a hotel and you can call me when you get there and when I get there we can discuss PTO. I never went to anyone else, over his

head because I was embarrassed and scared I would lose my job. It has made me physically and mentally sick, I tried to avoid him as much as I could. I was

fired a week ago, so guess they can’t fire me over it now. Since I didn’t tell my employer about this, are they still responsible?

Asked on October 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, if you did not tell the employer, they are not responsible. Employers don't read minds or mind-control employees: they can't know in advance if they will harass, they can't stop them from harassing the first time, and they don't know that they did harass unless someone tells them. An employer's obligation or responsibility is to stop harassment after being told of it--if they are told of harassment and fail to take action, they become liable. But if they were never told, they had no reason to know they had to do anything, and hence are not liable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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