Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real problem for many New York employees. When a person is harassed at work by a colleague, they often have several options for reporting the incident and can be protected from reprisal by the employee or employer. This situation becomes more complicated when the harasser is an outside contractor or client that the employee must work with in order to complete a job.
As one woman in Alaska recently reported, not all sexual harassment scenarios follow the same mold. A man who had sent her unwanted suggestive texts messages at her former workplace eventually became a client of her new employer, and she was required to work with him to complete a project. The man also allegedly harassed another woman at the new employer. Both women feared that if they attempted to block communication with the man, he would retaliate against their company with complaints and charges.
In situations such as these, the employer still has a duty toward employees to provide them with a safe and harassment-free work environment. This protection extends not just to other employees but also to business associates and customers. That means that if an employee experiences sexual harassment from a client or business partner they are working with, they have a right to bring this to the employer’s attention and seek an alternative working arrangement.
If an employer does not take appropriate action after a sexual harassment situation is reported to them, then the employee may need outside legal assistance to resolve the issue. An attorney might be able to help an employee by advising them of their rights in a particular situation. If necessary, the lawyer may help with additional legal steps.