FORT WORTH (CBS11) – After a wave of entertainers, news anchors, and politicians are being accused of sexual harassment, some people believe there is a cultural shift happening in the United States.
Women, and in some cases men, are coming forward to tell their stories, and those accused are facing consequences.
During our Facebook Live panel discussion Tuesday evening, Democratic State Representative Helen Giddings of DeSoto said, “I think when you look years from now, this is going to be that moment, this is going to be almost the same as 1964, the Civil Rights Act.”
Lori Carr, a partner at the Dallas Law Firm Estes Thorne & Carr said, “Women are seeing some consequences when they do complain and that empowers other women to come forward… We’re seeing actual consequences to the harassers instead of against the victims.”
One of the surprises that came out of the discussion is state law, and how much time people have to file sexual harassment claims in Texas.
It is based on federal law.
Democratic State Representative Victoria Neave of Dallas said, “Under Texas law, under the Labor Code, one only has 180 days to file with the Texas Workforce Commission their sexual harassment claim. A lot of women don’t know that and waive their rights.”
Beth Jones, CEO of Leading Right, trains employees to avoid and prevent sexual harassment.
She said, “I was shocked when I found out that the federal law is set up in a way to actually protect people who are sexually harassing other people in the workplace. So I think the winds of change are here.”
Representative Neave says she wants to change state law during the next legislative session which begins in January, 2019.
Watch Tuesday night’s Facebook Live on sexual harassment moderated by CBS11 Political Reporter Jack Fink.