How Should I Handle Sexual Harassment From a Customer?
Even after many years of discussions, trainings, and high-profile media cases regarding sexual harassment, this terrible behavior continues in many different scenarios. Sexual harassment can affect victims so significantly that they no longer feel safe coming to work or performing their work duties. It may create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive workplace.
Fortunately, state and federal law prohibit sexual harassment and provide avenues for legal relief for victims who are suffering from this behavior at work - even if it comes from people who are not the victim’s coworkers or managers. If you are being sexually harassed at work by a customer or client, read on.
What Can I Do if I Am Being Sexually Harassed By a Customer?
If you are being sexually harassed by customer, it is important to know that you are protected by the law and you have rights. You do not have to tolerate this unacceptable behavior. Begin by trying to address the issue directly with the customer. This may be difficult, but it is an important part of the process; without informing the customer that their actions are bothering you, it may be more difficult to bring a case later on.
You may choose to inform the customer that their actions are unacceptable directly or indirectly. This could include speaking to them, asking your manager or boss to speak to them, or contacting them through other means, such as a written note. You may also choose to try to limit interactions with the customer. If possible, try to avoid being alone with the person who is harassing you. This may involve asking a coworker or your manager to be present in the room with you anytime the customer is there.
It is essential that you report the harassment to your employer as soon as it begins. Your employer has a legal obligation to protect you from harassment, even if it comes from third parties who do not work with you. This may involve removing you from situations where the customer is present, asking a customer to leave, or refusing to allow the customer access to the premises. It is important for you to keep records of when you informed your employer and what they did about it. If your employer does not do anything, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer for failing to act.
Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Even if you are being sexually harassed by someone who does not work with you, your employer is responsible for making sure you are free from such harassment. If you are facing relentless harassment and your employer refuses to take action, schedule a free consultation with a Wheaton, IL sexual harassment attorney with MKFM Law. Call us today at 630-665-7300.