A recent court ruling in Pennsylvania found that employers may be liable for employee claims of harassment or a hostile work environment by non-employees.
If an employer had knowledge of, or “should have known” about the harassment by a non-employee and failed to address it, “both the company and individual managers may be liable”.
In the case of Hewitt v. BS Transportation, JD Supra explains that:
“Hewitt’s allegations that his manager failed to investigate his complaint of sexual harassment by the third-party employee or notify third-party management of his continued complaints, at this stage of the litigation, was sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss…
The court found that the BS Transportation manager’s failure to notify the third-party’s management of Hewitt’s continued complaints allowed the court to make a reasonable inference that the manager failed to take prompt remedial action against the discrimination”.
Employers should review current harassment policies to ensure information on non-employees is addressed.
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The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article from JD Supra on February 11, 2019, written by Brett Anders and Carlyle Edwards-Balfour.