A New Liability Concern for Your Practice: Textual-Sexual Harassment

Text messages, unlike graffiti, cannot be permanently erased from a wall. Even when text messages are deleted, they still can be retrieved.

Employers should also be aware that lawsuits and court cases involving texting and harassing behaviors are increasing.

We recommend that you treat textual harassment like any other harassment. In other words, you should do the following:

  • have a policy in place;
  • keep it updated;
  • regularly remind employees to review it; and
  • ensure that employees understand the consequences for not following it.

Generally speaking, textual harassment is when someone sends inappropriate or offensive messages via electronic devices over a cellular network.

Apparently, as evidenced by recent court cases, some people will do and say things in text messages that they might not consider doing or saying in face-to-face situations. Examples include texting lewd photos and messages asking for sexual favors.