Employers don’t just have to protect employees from harassment by co-workers and supervisors. They’re also responsible for keeping employees safe from others they must interact with on the job.
American Laser Centers (ALC), the largest laser hair removal company in the U.S., found that out the hard way, after the creepy landlord of its Fresno office prompted an EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit. Now ALC has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle the suit.
The company didn’t help itself by retaliating against one of the women who complained.
Women working at the Fresno clinic say the landlord had been harassing them since 2006. They claimed he repeatedly leered at them, touched them in unwelcome ways and propositioned them. He frequently appeared at the clinic “visibly aroused.”
The harassment got to the point where an employee brought her brother to work for protection.
The clinic manager and others reported the harassment to ALC districtright away. But according to the EEOC, the company conducted only a cursory investigation that found no wrongdoing on the landlord’s part.
The clinic manager was fired just a week and a half after reporting the misconduct.
The women will receive $125,000 and the company will provide sexual harassment education.
Final note: Remember that harassment doesn’t have to come from your employees to be actionable. Never ignore third-party harassment.