While businesses with fewer than 15 workers were previously exempt from laws prohibiting sexual harassment, as of Sept. 1 employers with as least one worker became subject to the new laws.
Ditty Bhatti, an employment lawyer from Plano, said new companies in particular will have to be mindful of the Sept. 1 date as their focus is likely to be on getting their businesses up and running. “But this law, especially in Texas, makes it very important that employers focus on [sexual harassment policies] right from the beginning,” she said.
Other changes under the new laws will require employees to take “immediate and appropriate corrective action” if a manager knew or “should have known” about any sexual harassment. “You need to train your managers to watch for things,” said Shannon Norris, a North Texas attorney. “And just make it clear—if an employee has a problem, where do they go?”