Sexual Harassment can take many forms; including a request for sexual favors; unwelcome sexual advances towards others, verbal, physical, or foreseeable conduct of a sexual nature towards people. This illegal conduct could occur in houses, or public places, hotels, restaurants, and can most often occur in the workplace. Employers, especially in the service industries, should pay careful attention to complaints by employees about customer conduct. An employer can be held liable under Title VII, for customer harassment if it fails to remedy or prevent a customer-created hostile work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex
The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee
The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct
Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim
The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome
In the case of Lockard v. Pizza Hut, Inc. (10th Cir. 1998) 162 F.3d 1062, a waitress sued Pizza Hut and its franchisee under Title VII for hostile work environment sexual harassment. While waiting tables, Lockard was harassed by two male customers. On a number of occasions, Lockard had informed her manager that she felt uncomfortable waiting on these men. One night, after Lockard seated the men, one of the men told Lockard that she "smelled good" and pulled her hair. Lockard immediately inf...
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...t the person making these unwanted sexual advances. Just as important, confronting your employer on their responsibilities of creating and maintaining a safe work environment between employees and customers. Reporting offensive behavior to employers or local authority can be done in person or through the person designated to handle Sexual Harassment complaints. When taking someone under a sexual harassment charge and following the proper procedures, justice will be served.
Bennett-Alexander, D. D., & Pincus, L. B. (1998). Employment law for business (2nd ed.) [UOP Special Edition Series]. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Lockard v. Pizza Hunt, Inc. (10th Cir. 1998) 162 F.3d 1062
EEOC COMPLIANCE MANUAL
TITLE 29--LABOR PART 1604--GUIDELINES ON DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE
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