Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1470315
 


 



The Customer is Always Right . . . Not! Employer Liability for Third Party Sexual Harassment


Lea B. Vaughn


Univ. of Washington School of Law

Winter 2002

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2002

Abstract:     
I was standing in line at the local grocery store, waiting for my regular checker. In front of me were two guys, purchasing beer and snacks. Slightly bored, I listened absently to their conversation as I scanned the tabloid headlines. My boredom vanished, however, when I realized they were "hitting on" Mary (pseudonym), asking if she were available that evening after work to share beer, snacks and good times. I found myself staring open-mouthed since it was easy to see her wedding band, and I could discern no behavior of hers that would have invited these comments.

Unfortunately, behavior like this is all too common. While Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act has made such behavior between supervisors and employees, or even co-employees, clearly off limits, courts and employers are are still reluctant to tell their customers to treat their employees with dignity and respect. Despite this tepid legal response, this paper presents the case for imposing liability on employers who do nothing to prevent customer harassment of workers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 91

Keywords: sexual harassment, sex discrimination, discrimination, gender & law, workplace harassment

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Date posted: September 10, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Vaughn, Lea B., The Customer is Always Right . . . Not! Employer Liability for Third Party Sexual Harassment (Winter 2002). Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2002. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1470315

Contact Information

Lea B. Vaughn (Contact Author)
Univ. of Washington School of Law ( email )
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States
(206) 543-4927 (Phone)

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