An employee who claimed she was sexually harassed by a co-worker – who wasn’t her boss – can sue her employer for not having an effective policy in place to deal with such a problem, according to a recent court case. The employee claimed that a worker in another department sent her sexually explicit pictures, made lewd phone calls and left suggestive items at her work station. She sued the employer, claiming that the company fostered a “hostile work environment” in violation of a state anti-discrimination law.
Most companies focus on harassment by bosses, but it’s equally important for employers to have a policy in place to deal with harassment by co-workers. (It’s also a good idea for businesses to address harassment by third parties, such as clients or customers.) Generally, employees should have a written procedure that explains how to complain about any form of harassment.