If you are an employee, chances are you interact with your organization’s clients on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a customer to cross the line while interacting with you. In some cases, this may amount to harassment. If you are harassed by a customer, you deserve justice.
As an employee, you are entitled to a safe and harassment-free workplace. Specifically, the law requires employers to protect you from all forms of harassment and discrimination. Thus, if a customer harasses you based on your protected characteristics, your employer has a duty to end the harassment.
So, what should you do if a customer is harassing you?
It is important that you know what to do if you are harassed at work. First, you need to put your evidence together. Document as much detail about the harassment incident as you can. Was the harassment verbal, physical or written? When and where did it happen? Who witnessed the incident?
Next, you need to review your organization’s policies and procedures to understand the process of filing a complaint.
Armed with your evidence, report the harassment to your employer. Ensure that the incident is duly recorded and that you obtain a copy of the formal incident report.
What if your employer fails to act?
If your employer fails to act, you need to seek redress with EEOC by filing a discrimination charge within 180 days from the date of the harassment. Upon filing your claim, the EEOC review and determine its merit. If it is established that you have a case, the EEOC will issue you a right-to-sue letter. From here, you may file a workplace harassment claim against your employer.
Safeguarding your rights
If you believe a client is harassing you at work, you need to notify your employer so they can address the situation. Learning more about California labor laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests while dealing with workplace harassment.