Most employees know that or colleagues is illegal. However, when sexual harassment comes from a third party, such as a vendor or a client, it is not uncommon for the victim to feel confused about the legality or liability of the situation. Just like sexual harassment that comes from a worker’s colleague, sexual harassment from a client or other third party is illegal. Moreover, if the employee’s company does not take steps to address the harassment, it may be liable for the employee’s damages.
Employers May be Liable for Damages
A sexual harassment victim can suffer a worsened mental or physical health state, which can cause them to face medical bills and lost wages from having to stay home from work. This can also impact their opportunities for advancement. When an employer does not take the necessary steps to protect its employees from sexual harassment, it may be liable for these damages.
How to Discuss Sexual Harassment with an Employer
When an employee faces sexual harassment from a client or another third party, he or she should address the incident with their supervisor as soon as possible. The employee should also file a report detailing the harassment with Human Resources.
During their discussion, the employee should also remind the employer of their responsibility to protect workers from sexual harassment. The employee should also truthfully discuss how the harassment made them feel and provide concrete examples of the harassment from the third party. Evidence to support their position can include noted face-to-face incidents with the third party and printed emails, messages, and transcripts of phone calls where sexual harassment occurred.
Employers’ Responsibility When an Employee Faces Sexual Harassment
After receiving a complaint of sexual harassment from a worker, the supervisor might discuss the issue with the third party directly. He or she should also take action to prevent the harassment from happening again. This may involve reassigning the worker to another account, requiring future meetings with the third party to take place at the company’s location, or even terminating the company’s relationship with the third party. Despite the saying, “the customer is always right,” the customer does not have the right to sexually harass employees.
If an employer does not act to protect the employee from further harassment, the employee may file a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is the federal agency tasked with enforcing the United States’ employment laws and investigating claims of harassment and other employment law violations. Following its investigation, the EEOC may facilitate a settlement between the company and the employee to compensate them for their damages. If this does not adequately resolve the issue, the victim has the right to seek the legal assistance of a sexual harassment lawyer in Philadelphia.
Bucks County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Represent Sexual Harassment Victims Seeking Compensation
If you have experienced a hostile work environment due to a client or other predator, you have the right to take action and seek compensation for your resulting damages through a sexual harassment claim or lawsuit. To learn more about your rights and how to address issues of workplace harassment, complete our online contact form or call 215-569-1999 to arrange a free consultation with a Bucks County sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we work with clients from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.