What Is Third-Party Harassment At Work?

Each day when you go to work, you deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. When many people think about experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace, they might assume that the perpetrator is a coworker or supervisor. While this is the case for many who have their employee rights violated, some employees may experience this conduct from a third party. However, if you’re harassed by a third party, what rights do you have and what are your employer’s responsibilities?

Understanding your rights in the workplace and how to get help when they’re violated can be difficult. The employee rights attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam can help protect you and fight to get the justice you deserve.

Who Counts as a Third Party?

Some employees have very little interaction with third parties in the workplace. However, depending on your role, this might be something you experience regularly. Third-party harassment can come from many individuals who are not employees of your company, such as:

  • Customers
  • Clients
  • Vendors
  • Independent Contractors

Just because this behavior is coming from someone other than an employee doesn’t make it less harmful for the person experiencing it. Of course, employers have less control over someone like a customer than they do their own employees, but that doesn’t mean employees should be expected to put up with being harassed by a third party.

Who is Responsible for Third-Party Harassment?

As an employee in New York City, you have the right to work in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination, and your employer has an obligation to provide this. Federal, state, and local laws protect employees from being harassed or discriminated against based on their membership in a protected class.

While your employer might not have as much authority over an outsider compared to another employee, a third party’s actions and behaviors still contribute to your work environment. Harassment by a third party can still impact an employee’s wellbeing and quality of work and may cause a hostile work environment. In some cases, an employer could be held responsible for third-party harassment.

An employer could be responsible for third-party harassment if they knew, or reasonably should have known, about the harassment and neglected to take appropriate action. If you’ve made your employer aware of the harassment you’ve faced from a third party, they could be liable. If you reported the harassment to your employer and were punished for doing so, you may also be experiencing retaliation.

Protect Yourself from Harassment with Brown Kwon & Lam

Facing harassment and discrimination in the workplace can make it difficult to feel safe or perform your job duties. When you’re harassed by a third party, you shouldn’t feel as though there’s nothing that anyone can do to help. This conduct shouldn’t be tolerated in any situation regardless of whether or not the harasser is an employee of your company.

When your rights are violated in the workplace, you can put your trust in Brown Kwon & Lam. Contact us today to learn more about how our NYC employee rights attorneys can help protect you.

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