An employer may  be responsible for the acts of non-employees, with respect to sexual harassment of employees in the workplace, where the employer (or its agents or supervisory employees) knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In reviewing these cases the Commission will consider the extent of the employer’s control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to the conduct of such non-employees.
In Texas, an employer can be held liable for its employees’ negligence if, at the time of the accident, the worker was an employee (not an independent contractor) and was acting in the course and scope of his employment.
Employees owe a duty of loyalty to their employer and may not: (1) appropriate company trade secrets; (2) solicit away the employer’s customers while working for the employer; (3) solicit the departure of other employees while still working for the employer; (4) carry away confidential information.
A hostile work environment arises when there is ongoing harassment, based on the plaintiff’s protected characteristic, so severe or pervasive that it has altered the conditions of employment and created an abusive working environment.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act prohibits companies from claiming tax deduction for confidential settlements paid for sexual harassment and abuse and the related lawyer’s fees.
Texas courts have issued several interesting opinions in 2017 regarding Texas non-compete law, explaining and defining when the Texas Covenants not to Compete Act applies and clarifying procedural mechanisms and remedies in non-compete disputes.