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A harassment incident has been reported to us, small company…

A sexual harassment incident...

A sexual harassment incident has been reported to us, small company in Texas, are we ok if we fire the offender?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed this harassment issue with your HR staff? Or with a lawyer?

We don’t have HR staff My husband and I own the company

Lawyer's Assistant: Is your employee "at will?" Does he belong to a union?

He does not belong to a union

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
6/29/2018
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,567
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to answer your question.

Unless the offender has a contract guaranteeing their employment for a set period of time, the law in Texas presumes their employment to be "at will." This means the employment can be terminated at any time, for virtually any reason, regardless of whether that reason is fair or even TRUE. Thus, it is legal to terminate an at-will employee upon allegations of sexual harassment.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications, and the information provided is not legal advice.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for this

You are very welcome, I'm glad I could help.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

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Was there anything else I can do for you before we wrap up?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Are we liable for the offenders actions?
This is the second incident that has been reported to us
The first one was in November of last year
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Neither of the people who reported it to us want to take any legal action but I want to know ahead of time in case they change their minds

If the offender was the direct supervisor of the alleged victim, the company would be liable. And if they were not a direct supervisor, the company would only be liable if the victim could show the company failed to take reasonable action to prevent the harassment from continuing after the first time it was reported.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It was reported by two different women
One left the company after the incident in November and this current incident was reported this morning

So there will be a question as to whether you could have done more to prevent the incidents of sexual harassment which occurred after your received the first complaint. You would be liable if the employee can successfully argue that you could have done more.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,567
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Patrick, Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay thank you for this

You are very welcome. Take care and good luck.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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