Maryland residents are protected from being sexually harassed at work under both federal and state law. Workers should not be harassed by their bosses or supervisors, their co-workers or even their customers. When an individual is being sexually harassed by a customer or client, it may be important to alert one's supervisor. The supervisor, and the company, then have the responsibility to take action to put an end to the harassment. If the employer fails to do so, or does so in a way that negatively impacts the employee, it becomes important to talk to an employment law attorney.
In a recent case, an AutoZone employee sued her employer after she was sexually harassed by two customers at work over the period of about one year.
The customers reportedly made inappropriate sexually charged comments to the employee, and they touched her against her will. She told her managers about the harassment on multiple occasions, but they did nothing to stop the harassment, according to the lawsuit. The position of management was that the woman should accept the sexual harassment in order to keep the business of the customers.
Ultimately, the woman called the company's human resources department, which also failed to intervene. The human resources department did not even respond to her complaint for several months, according to the lawsuit.
The woman says she wanted to quit her job due to the harassment, but she did not because she needed the money and did not want to leave another female employee behind.
Finally, the woman researched her rights and learned that the hostile work environment she was being subjected to was illegal. She sued AutoZone and a jury has now awarded her $2.5 million.
Those who have questions about their employment rights may benefit from talking to a reputable employment law attorney.
Source: Fox 4 News, "Damages awarded to AutoZone employee in sexual harassment lawsuit," Abby Eden, Feb. 6, 2014