We hear of cases where employers, bosses, and co-workers sexually harassed employees and where companies were held accountable because they failed to take action to protect workers. But what happens when the sexual harassment comes from a client or customer? What rights does a worker have? And what responsibility do employers have to protect employees from customer or client-based sexual harassment?
A recent New Jersey court awarded a bank employee $2.4 million dollars for the bank’s failure to put a stop to a customer known to act strangely around employees. The employee claimed that the customer sexually assaulted her, leading her to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. The jury made clear in the case that employers, in certain circumstances, have responsibilities when it comes to protecting workers from sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. In the case with the bank customer accused of sexual harassment and assault, the employee claims that the customer’s accounts were not closed despite his repeated and pervasive poor behavior; the customer was considered a “profitable” client. The court case shows that employers may have a responsibility to protect their workers from sexual harassment—even if the harassment stems from a client or customer.
Moore & Associates is a sexual harassment law firm in Houston, Texas that works with employees that have suffered sexual harassment on the job. What is sexual harassment? According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, repeated requests for sexual favors, sexually suggestive talk, or physical touch that is sexual in nature.
Employers have a legal responsibility to keep employees safe from sexual harassment, whether the perpetrator is a co-worker, manager, boss, customer, client, or another party the employee interacts with. If a person is facing sexual harassment on the job, the employer has a responsibility to take steps to address it, which can include things like assigning a server to another table or asking a customer to leave if he or she is sexually harassing employees. It comes down to the power the manager had to protect the employee in the situation. Employers that have control over a workplace environment, may have the responsibility to put a stop to sexual harassment when it occurs.
Employees may not always be aware of their rights. They may think that they can seek assistance if a co-worker is harassing them, but that they may not have recourse if they are being harassed by a customer. This is not true. Any sexual harassment that occurs while you are working should be reported. If you are being sexually harassed by a customer, you may have the right to ask your employer for help to stop the situation, and may have the right to fight back if you have had to leave your job or have lost income as a result of sexual harassment from a client or customer. Moore & Associates is a sexual harassment law firm in Houston, Texas that fights for workers’ rights and we may be able to fight for you.
Steps You Can Take If a Customer or Client Sexually Harasses You or Makes You Feel Uncomfortable
If a customer or client sexually harasses you or makes you feel uncomfortable due to pervasive comments of a sexual nature, the first step you can take is to report the situation to your employer or manager. The sooner you report the situation to your employer, the sooner something can be done about it. An employer may be required to take steps to address the situation, either by confronting the customer directly about the situation, by changing your position so you don’t have to interact with the client or customer directly, or by asking the customer or client to leave. Servers and restaurant workers are particularly at risk of facing sexual advances or sexual harassment from customers. According to Eater, 37 percent of sexual harassment incident claims happen in restaurants. These are just the statistics regarding all sexual harassment claims. 78% of restaurant workers report having faced harassment.
You don’t have to suffer in silence or accept harassment from a client. You have the right to talk to your employer and to report the incident. You should not have to feel uncomfortable on the job because of a customer or client’s inappropriate behavior. Have questions about your rights? Reach out to Moore & Associates, a sexual harassment law firm in Houston, Texas today. Our attorneys may be able to help you.
Seek Justice Today
Sexual harassment on the job can leave victims suffering from trauma. Some individuals end up quitting their jobs, passing up important career opportunities, and some even find their careers shattered because of the actions of a co-worker, boss, or manager. Client or customer sexual harassment or assault can be just as devastating. The sexual harassment lawyers at Moore & Associates in Houston, Texas may be able to assist you with your claim. Contact us today, or connect with USAttorneys.com to get in touch with the sexual harassment lawyers at Moore & Associates.