Third-Party Workplace Harassment

According to a recent article released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), many employers are unaware of the risk associated with third-party workplace harassment, and may even willingly ignore harassment that comes from a client.

“Unfortunately, you could find dozens, maybe hundreds, of cases where managers get a complaint from an employee about customer or third-party potential harassment, and the response is something along the lines of ‘grin and bear it,’ ” said Jennifer Betts, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Pittsburgh.

SHRM warns that harassment coming from a vendor or customer often occurs “out of sight”, and cautions employers to take steps to encourage victims to come forward.

This includes providing training, identifying at-risk employee populations, thoroughly investigating all claims of harassment, and creating an anti-harassment policy that protects employees from harassment by non-employees.

For more information and the full list of tips for avoiding third-party harassment claims, please click here.

The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on November 27, 2018, written by Allen Smith, J.D.


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