Beware growing liability risk: harassment by customers

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Issue: Courts are cracking down on employers that tolerate customer harassment of foreign-born employees.

Risk: Supervisors sometimes are more lenient with harassment by customers than by employees. That's a big mistake.

Action: Spread the word to supervisors: They have an obligation to prevent harassment from vendors, customers and other nonemployees.

By now, you've probably hammered on your anti-harassment policies so much that employees could almost recite them by heart.

But if you ask 100 employees to describe an example of workplace harassment, how many would involve an outsider, say a customer or a vendor, in their story? Probably very few. That's because too many people think harassment is only an employee-on-employee thing.

The truth is, employers can also be held liable when a nonemployee harasses one of their employees. If your organization knew about the harassment (or should have known) but d...(register to read more)

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