What happens if an employee is sexually harassed by someone who is not a colleague, supervisor, or business owner? Third parties could be such as customers, clients, and even people who are making deliveries to where you work.
Any of these third parties can engage in sexual harassment against employees. Here is a closer look at third-party sexual harassment and how to respond to it. You do have rights and the law is on your side.
What To Do If You Experience Third-Party Sexual Harassment
If you experience third-party sexual harassment, you should report the matter to a supervisor or to your employer’s human resources department. Your employer is required to take all reports of sexual harassment seriously and act in a timely manner. Your employer must investigate the issue and take action to ensure that you are protected from future abuse. Documentation is essential to any sexual harassment complaint.
Here are some things that employers should do to prevent third-party sexual harassment:
- Policies should be in place to denounce third-party sexual harassment
- If a complaint is filed, the employer should investigate the matter
- The employer should tell the harasser to immediately stop the behavior
- The employer should take proper actions, even if it means banning the third-party individual from their property
If you are a victim of third-party sexual harassment, you should document everything. Also, be sure to document the details of the investigation or the lack of an investigation. You must have evidence to back up your claim and to support your allegations. Witness statements, photos, video footage, memos, emails, and text messages can be beneficial.
Your employer must work to resolve the matter and prevent any future harassment from third-party individuals. If your employer does nothing to resolve the issue, or if they allow the third-party sexual harassment to continue, then you can pursue a claim against your employer. This claim can advance to a lawsuit where you can ask to be compensated for your damages.
Sexual harassment can lead to lost wages, lost benefits, mental anguish, and other damages. You will need to gather supporting documentation that confirms your losses and that supports your claim against your employer for not resolving the third-party sexual harassment claims.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
If you have been a victim of third-party sexual harassment and your employer has not taken the proper action or if they have failed to properly resolve the matter, you will need consult with an employment law attorney who handles workplace sexual harassment claims.
An attorney is familiar with the applicable laws and will help you gather supporting evidence and documentation that shows you were a victim of these illegal behavior.
When you meet with a workplace sexual harassment attorney discuss payment options. Some lawyers require a retainer and charge an hourly rate while others take cases on a contingency basis. You do have limited time to pursue a workplace sexual harassment claim, so complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today.