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Harassment by a customer is actionable.

 

While it is a non-binding decision from another jurisdiction, the decision in EEOC v. Cromer Food Services is worth noting because it addresses two uncommon yet problematic fact situations:  same-sex harassment, and harassment by a customer. 

An employee of CFS claimed to suffer a daily barrage of lewd comments and gestures by employees of the company’s biggest client. Rather than intervene, CFS told him there was nothing that it could do because the harassers were not under its control.  The employee filed a complaint with the EEOC, which brought suit on his behalf.  The Appeal Court reversed the lower court and remanded the case for trial, finding that there were sufficient facts to show that CFS had actual or constructive notice of the harassment and failed to take any corrective action.

Employers:  If your employee complains of harassment by a customer, even if its same-sex harassment, please do something!

Hat Tip:  Workplace Prof Blog

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