Can I file a lawsuit if I was touched by a co-worker who has a disability?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I file a lawsuit if I was touched by a co-worker who has a disability?

I work at a fast food restaurant and we have an employee that has a disability. In the beginning I didn’t pay any attention to detail but yesterday April 4, 2018 he blocked me from entering the building and I as I mentioned before didn’t pay any attention to the situation because he likes hugs went along with the usual routine but unfortunately after he reached out for a hug he grabbed my breast. When I use the word

Asked on April 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF this happens again after you told the manager about what occured, you may have a legal claim for illegal sexual harassment. Whether he has a disability or not, he has no right to touch you inappropriately. The employer cannot, of course, stop the first incident, since they don't know whether or when it will occur; but after you report unwanted attention or touching, they have an obligation under the law to take reasonable steps to prevent a recurrence (e.g. monitor him more closely and let him know he will be terminated if he does this again; transfer him to an area where he works only with males; fire him if necessary; etc.). If they fail or refuse to even try to take reasonable action, they can make them liable for sexual harassment. In that case, you could contact the EEOC about filing a claim.

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 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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