New Sexual Harassment Laws Went Into Effect September 1
Governor Greg Abbott signed two new bills in August, SB 45
and HB 21
, which broaden protections for Texas employees who file sexual harassment claims
. Both laws went into effect on Wednesday, September 1. Employers should take heed of the impact these new laws will have on their businesses. The most important highlights include:
EEO-1 Deadline Extension
- The timing of the allegation. While previous language stated that “prompt” attention should be taken by an employer after an allegation is made, there were no specifics given as to what that really means. New language states that an employer must take immediate and appropriate corrective action.
- Size of the employer. Only one or more employees are needed to be able to file a complaint. Previously, 15 employees were needed.
- New laws state that sexual harassment lawsuits can be filed against supervisors and co-workers in their individual capacity, as well as anyone who “acts directly in the interests of an employer in relation to an employee. This could include supervisors, managers, human resources and shift leaders.
- The statute of limitations on when sexual harassment claims can be made is now within 300 days from the date of occurrence, whereas previously it was 180 days. The new timeframe now aligns with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission’s (EEOC) statute of limitations.
- The EEOC has extended the deadline to submit both 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data. The new deadline is Monday, October 25, 2021. No additional deadline extensions will be made.
If you have questions regarding these updates and what they mean for your business, please reach out to your designated Achilles Group contact, or call us at 281-469-1800.