In this case, a patient sued a medical provider alleging that an employee of the medical facility sexually harassed him by making repeated sexual advances and shared intimate details about her relationship with her boyfriend at home. The patient finally reported the inappropriate conversations to another employee at the facility. The employer conducted an investigation and the employee who made the comments was ultimately terminated. In deciding the case, the court emphasized that Washington’s antidiscrimination laws are to be liberally construed in order to accomplish the purpose of the law, and that victimized patrons should have some remedy against the business. That means that patrons (or in this case, patients) have a civil right to be free from sexual harassment, and a statutory claim if they are deprived of that right.
Proactive employers will reduce potential liability by evaluating policy language and expanding employee anti-harassment and discrimination training to ensure that employees are aware that their conduct towards the public will be judged by the same standards as their conduct towards each other. Managers and supervisors need to address misconduct in the same prompt and effective manner as they treat employee to employee complaints and always remember that discrimination towards a patron is strictly prohibited.
For questions on how this new application of the antidiscrimination laws may impact your business, contact Nicole Elgin at (503) 276-2109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. If this has been forwarded to you, and you would like to begin receiving Electronic Alerts directly, please email or call Traci Ray at 503-276-2115. Copyright ©2010 by Barran Liebman LLP.
Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2010 por Barran Liebman LLP.