Is your employer liable for harassment?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2019 | Employment Law |

When employees in New York have to deal with a hostile work environment, it can have a big psychological and emotional impact. In turn, this affects worker productivity and every other aspect of the workplace. If left unchecked, this sort of issue can easily turn the business into a place no one wants to be.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes a look at whether or not an employer can be held liable for harassment at the workplace, especially if that harassment contributes to a hostile work environment. As they state, the employer is automatically held liable if a supervisor’s harassment results in employment actions like loss of wages, termination, or the failure to promote or hire someone.

The employer will also be held liable if the actions of a supervisor result in a hostile work environment. However, there is one situation in which the liability can be avoided by the employer. First, the employer must have tried in a reasonable manner to quickly correct and prevent the harassing behavior. Next, the employee who was being harassed must have then failed to take advantage of any of the corrective or preventative measures that were provided.

They are also responsible for people that aren’t supervisors but who they have control over, such as customers on the premise or independent contractors. This is only if they should have known or actually knew about the harassing behavior and didn’t take any actions to prevent or correct it, however. These are all important factors to keep in mind when considering how your employer fits into the equation.