Can You Sue a Customer for Harassment?

Can You Sue a Customer for Harassment?

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Can You Sue a Customer for Harassment?

When most people think of harassment in the workplace, they picture a boss or superior causing problems for an employee. But this is not the only type of on-the-job harassment that takes place. 

Fortunately, harassment victims often have the option to seek justice through a legal claim. But who can you hold responsible for an instance of harassment? Can you sue a customer for harassment? 

Below, we will explore some of the critical legal issues related to this question. If a client or customer does not respect professional boundaries, can the victim file a lawsuit? 

Fortunately, federal statutes are in place to protect workers from harassment. These laws prohibit hostile work environments, no matter who causes them. 

So can you sue a customer for harassment? In many cases, pursuing legal action against your employer is more likely to succeed. If you have been harassed in the workplace, you may have grounds for a valid lawsuit. 

It is critical to speak with a knowledgeable tort attorney to pursue a civil harassment claim. Do not allow those whose actions are harmful to be left unaccountable. 

When you need premier legal representation, reach out to the accomplished legal team at Morgan and Morgan. Our compassionate attorneys know the difficulties that harassment victims experience.  

We will gladly offer you a free consultation with no obligation to hire our firm. Complete the simple contact form on the Morgan and Morgan website to arrange an initial meeting to discuss the facts of your case.

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  • What Is Workplace Harassment?

    Workplace harassment is often categorized as a form of employment discrimination. Protections against this type of activity are detailed in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as well as other federal anti-discrimination laws. 

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) identifies harassment as unwelcome behavior based on the following protected classes: 

    • Sex, pregnancy, gender identity, or sexual orientation
    • Religion
    • Race
    • National origin
    • Genetic information
    • Age (for those over 40)
    • Disability 

    Federal anti-discrimination laws also protect employees from retaliation by their businesses. In other words, an employer cannot take action against you for any of the following: 

    • Filing a complaint or lawsuit for harassment
    • Cooperating with a harassment investigation
    • Reporting discrimination to a manager or supervisor
    • Refusing to engage in harassing behavior
    • Protecting coworkers from unwanted sexual advances
    • Resisting unwanted sexual advances
    • Requesting religious or disability accommodations
    • Working to uncover discriminatory wage practices 

    These actions are protected. However, employers are still permitted to discipline or fire employees if they have displayed misconduct unrelated to these protected actions.

    Retaliatory actions by employers can form the basis of a legal claim by the victim. Some of the most typical examples of retaliation in the workplace include: 

    • Unreasonably reprimanding the employee
    • Offering unfair and negative performance reviews
    • Transferring the worker to an undesirable position
    • Threatening to report immigration status to authorities
    • Increasing scrutiny on the employee
    • Engaging in physical or verbal abuse
    • Spreading rumors against the employee
    • Assigning undesirable shifts 

    You should never face any of these consequences due to reporting harassment. This is true no matter who perpetrated the wrongful actions. 

    If you have questions about your workplace harassment case, reach out to a trustworthy tort firm. The skilled professionals at Morgan and Morgan have decades of experience litigating workplace harassment claims.  

    Whether you were harassed by an employer or a customer, you have options. Can you sue a customer for harassment? The seasoned legal specialists at Morgan and Morgan will review the facts of your case and help you determine the answer.

  • When Can You Sue a Customer for Harassment?

    If you have been harassed in the workplace by a client or patron, you may have the option to sue under both state and federal law. 

    If a client becomes angry or violent, can you sue a customer for harassment? Customers have the capacity to harass employees in many ways. Some of the most common types of harassment in the workplace caused by customers include the following: 

    • Unwanted sexual attention
    • Inappropriate behavior
    • Discriminatory behaviors or language
    • Racial slurs 

    Negligent employers may be legally liable for the actions of customers. For instance, some customers may have a history of violent actions or harassing behaviors. The employer should take action to prevent these customers from harassing employees.

    When a customer causes property damage or injury to a worker, the employer may be financially liable. It is important to contact an attorney in the aftermath of any instance of workplace harassment. 

    Many companies have safety measures in place to protect their staff and workers. However, when an employer is negligent in providing a safe working environment, they can be held responsible for any resulting damages. 

    This is also true if the business knows there is a danger and fails to take appropriate action. You may be wondering, “Can you sue a customer for harassment?” It may be difficult to sue a customer or client. In some cases, you may be able to take action against a negligent employer who allows harassment to occur.

  • How Should an Employer Respond to Reports of Harassment?

    Clients and customers in any business may behave badly. But customer harassment is especially common in the hospitality industry.  

    For instance, consider the example of a restaurant or bar. In these contexts, customers may have been drinking and become less inhibited. 

    When this happens, customers may behave inappropriately toward servers, bartenders, or other staff members. Employees do not deserve to deal with unreasonable treatment by anyone, including customers. 

    Workers in other business sectors are similarly vulnerable to this issue. Salespeople often experience unwelcome attention and inappropriate language or comments. This type of wrongful customer behavior is prominent during clientele dinners, for example. Nurses and other medical care providers may be treated inappropriately by patients. 

    When an employer becomes aware of these issues, they have a legal obligation to address the problem. 

    Many bars and restaurants employ a “no questions asked” policy. With this approach, employees are free to voice concerns when a customer makes them uncomfortable. Then, the supervisor or manager will reassign the employee away from the customer to prevent harassing behavior. 

    No matter how they approach the issue, employers have a duty to take worker complaints of harassment seriously. When an employee reports harassment to their supervisor, their workplace superior should do the following: 

    • Take their complaint seriously
    • Thank the employee for reporting the issue
    • Address the issue with the customer
    • Ask the worker to report any further harassment
    • Avoid any retaliatory actions against the employee 

    Employers who fail to take these worker complaints seriously and act on them may face serious liability. Business owners are required by federal worker protection regulations to take prompt action if they are aware of harassment by customers. 

    When an employer tolerates a hostile working environment, employees have legal recourse. 

    If your employer allows an environment in which you frequently face harassment by customers, do not hesitate. Reach out to the compassionate legal team at America’s largest tort law firm: Morgan and Morgan. We have the skills and knowledge of federal workers’ regulations required to hold negligent businesses accountable.  

    You should not have to manage the personal and financial consequences resulting from customer harassment. When you contact our firm, we will review the circumstances of your workplace harassment claim and help you find the best path forward.

  • What Damages Can an Employee Recover Through a Harassment Lawsuit?

    Like most tort claims, workplace harassment lawsuits typically allow victims to pursue at least two types of compensation. The term for compensatory payments in a civil legal claim is “damages.” 

    In harassment cases, plaintiffs can usually pursue both “special” and “general” damages. 

    Special Damages

    Special damages are financial payments to the victim of a wrongful action intended to compensate for their direct monetary losses. 

    For instance, suppose an employee was physically injured by a customer. In this case, the victim may experience a wide range of expenses for their treatment and recovery. Some of the most common examples of special damages in tort claims are: 

    • Lost wages and income from time off work
    • Current medical bills and expenses
    • Expected costs of ongoing medical care
    • Decreased long-term earning potential 
    • Property damage resulting from the harassment 

    Harassment by customers can result in significant financial losses for the victim. To determine the full range of economic costs in your claim, consult with a skilled employment law attorney. The team at Morgan and Morgan has extensive knowledge of workplace harassment cases.

    General Damages

    Some of the most difficult consequences of harassment by clients and customers do not result in monetary expenses. The personal and emotional harms resulting from harassment can be severe, and victims deserve compensation for these negative experiences.  

    Some of the most common examples of general damages include compensation for the following: 

    • Emotional distress and anguish
    • Embarrassment
    • Psychological pain and suffering
    • Loss of enjoyment of life 

    It is very difficult to calculate the value of general damages in workplace harassment claims. For this reason, it is critical to review your circumstances with the help of a seasoned litigant. 

    You may be able to file a lawsuit to recover the financial compensation you need to get your life back on track. The trustworthy litigants at the firm of Morgan and Morgan will fight tirelessly to get justice for you.

  • What Are Punitive Damages?

    Most harassment tort claims allow victims to pursue both general and special damages. But in certain instances, plaintiffs may be entitled to “punitive” damages. 

    This type of payment is not meant to compensate the victim for any costs or losses. Instead, punitive damages are intended to punish the party who is responsible for the harm. 

    Employers may be required to pay punitive damages if the plaintiff can prove they were grossly negligent. While punitive damages are possible, they are relatively rare in harassment cases.

  • How Does Morgan and Morgan Deal With Attorneys’ Fees?

    Like all trustworthy civil tort law firms, Morgan and Morgan relies on contingency fees to cover the costs of legal services. When you hire us, we will agree to a certain percentage of the recovery from your case. 

    After we recover compensation for you, the agreed-upon portion of recovery will be used to pay attorneys’ fees. At Morgan & Morgan, the fee is free unless we win for you.

  • Morgan and Morgan Will Fight for Justice for You

    Contact the firm of Morgan and Morgan if you have experienced harassment by a customer in your workplace. Our skilled attorneys will help you recover any financial compensation to which you are entitled. 

    To schedule a free consultation with our compassionate tort lawyers, fill out the contact form online. Our workplace harassment lawyers are ready to fight for you.

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