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Employer Response Too Late In Third-Party Harassment Claim

On April 29, 2014, in Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., 2014 BL 119739, 4th Cir., No. 13-1481 (4/29/14), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employer did not adequately respond to persistent offensive remarks and conduct directed at an employee by a customer. The employee complained to her supervisor about the customer’s repeated use of racial and sexual epithets, and other offensive conduct. The harassment continued unabated for three years before the employer implemented a communication ban. The court found the employer’s response would had been adequate had the remedial action been put into place sooner. Because the employer’s response was slow, the remedial action was insufficient to prevent the harassment.  To read the full decision, click here or contact members of our employment section.

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