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Employers Bear Wide Responsibility To Prevent Workplace Harassment

4.15.14

Greg Ballew wrote an article for Kansas City about workplace harassment.

People usually think of workplace harassment in terms of supervisors harassing employees or employees harassing peers. But no matter what rank employees hold, it has long been a fact of workplace life that employers are responsible for prohibiting unlawful harassment in the workplace and taking corrective action if it does occur, Greg wrote. However, a recent local case demonstrates that employers’ responsibilities for addressing harassment in the workplace extend beyond the individuals who collect a paycheck from the company.

In a sexual harassment case that drew widespread attention, a Jackson County Circuit Court jury in February awarded damages of more than $2.5 million to a female employee at an Independence auto parts store. The female employee alleged she was repeatedly sexually harassed by two customers and complained to her managers, but they took no action, to avoid losing the customers’ business, he wrote.

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