When we hear about sexual harassment in the workplace, we may think of the offender as being a co-worker or a person in authority. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the perpetrator is a client, a customer, or a vendor.
Federal law entitles all American employees to work in an environment that is free of sexual harassment, discrimination, and ridicule – no matter where it comes from. A company may have a solid program that provides instruction on how to deal with sexual harassment by a co-worker or boss, but when a customer, vendor, consultant, or even a visitor sexually harasses an employee, the employer also has a responsibility to act. If they fail to do so, they can face legal action.
Harassment by clients is very common in the hospitality industry. In fact, recent reports indicate that many housekeepers routinely face sexual harassment, and many even see tolerating it as an expected part of the job. The potential for offenses like this is high in this industry.
Housekeepers are often isolated in the rooms they are cleaning and so they are especially vulnerable. They often deal with sexual harassment using passive strategies, such a humor or deflection. They may fear reporting harrassment because they fear losing their jobs.
Drivers in ride sharing services often face sexual harassment as well. Offenses may range from vulgar, sexually tinged jokes or comments to outright assaults.
When an employer fails to address and remedy the sexual harassment of its employees by customers within its control, the courts turn to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines. Employers may be held accountable if they knew or should have known about the misconduct.
If you have experienced sexual harassment on the job, please call the Montgomery County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. We will stand up for your rights, and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 for a free consultation.