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Harassment causes disability? You must accommodate

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Here’s another reason to stamp out sexual harassment ASAP: An employee could become so agitated that she develops an anxiety disorder that requires a reasonable accommodation—such as separating the harasser from her.

Recent case: Kelly worked at a gym. She claimed that over a two-year period, a supervisor engaged in rude, sexually hostile and inappropriate behavior. Once, when her boss berated her, she had an anxiety attack. She then took several months of leave and filed a workers’ compensation claim. Soon after, she was discharged.

She sued, alleging failure to accommodate by making the supervisor work somewhere else.

The court ruled in her favor, noting that “separation of a victim from her harasser [is] an obvious accommodation requiring no clairvoyance on the part of the employer.” (Tevis v. Spare Time, No. C074938, Court of Appeal of California, 2016)

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