Thursday, June 23, 2011

An Underused Remedy for Harassment by Non-Employees

A creative new area of anti-harassment law is ripe for use if workers were informed.

If your employer knows you are being harassed by an independent contractor, service or product vendor, or any other person, such as a customer or client, and fails to take action to correct the problem, your employer is liable for the harassment.  Even if you are a non-employee, but you are providing services as an independent contractor for the "employer," and the "employer" or one of its employees harasses you, the "employer" will be liable for the harassment if the employer knows of the problem, and takes no corrective action.

The supporting law is CA Government Code Section 12940(j)(1).  I believe this code section is a greatly underutilized source of remedy for harassment because "non-employees" who work as independent contractors on the job site fail to realize they have protections against sexual harassment (or race, religion, age, national origin, or disability) because of people they work with, even though those employees are not "co-employees."

"If the pink slip doesn't fit, get redressed!"
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