What Is Third Party Harassment ?
Third party harassment means harassment caused by a person or group of people who work outside the control of the employer, such as contractors, clients, customers, vendors and suppliers, or some other party which makes frequent visits in the place of business. It is the duty of any employer to provide a place which is safe to work and is free from any kind of harassment.
Although people, who are third party harassers, are beyond the direct control of the employer, yet courts have ordered some guidelines regarding prevention of this kind of harassment.
The law of almost all the states along with the federal law states that any form of third party harassment at the workplace has to be dealt by the employer. And, the employer has to take all steps to avoid it as much as possible. If such harassment takes place, then it would be considered as a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the employer will be subjected to a lawsuit. This type of harassment not only includes any sexual harassment, but also includes other forms of harassment based on race, color, gender, religion and national origin.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if the employer has not initiated action against the third party harasser in spite of knowing the facts and consequences, then the employer would be liable. The EEOC will, in turn, look for other legal responsibility which the employer might be having in relation to the behavior of the third party non-employee.
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