A woman putting her hand on her co-workers hand.

If you’re working in Kansas City and facing unwanted advances or inappropriate remarks from someone who isn’t a coworker — like a client or a customer — you might feel unsure about what you can do. If you’re a waitress and a regular starts making lewd comments, or you’re a retail worker and a shopper touches you without permission, Kansas City law requires your employer to step in and protect you. These rules make sure that you don’t have to endure this kind of behavior, no matter who’s doing it.

Feeling safe at work is a big deal, and Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is here to help make sure that happens. If you’ve been dealing with this kind of trouble and need some advice, call us at 816-399-5149 for a free consultation. We’re ready to listen and help you.

Understanding Kansas City’s Legal Framework for Sexual Harassment Protection

Kansas City has a legal framework for protecting employees against sexual harassment. At the core of Kansas City’s legal protections for workers, federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 make sexual harassment illegal. Knowing and understanding these laws is crucial for employees. Knowing these laws empowers you to recognize when your rights are being violated and to take the necessary steps to defend yourself.

Federal Laws Upholding Employee Rights

Federal laws play a pivotal role in upholding employee rights against sexual harassment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is particularly powerful as it considers sexual harassment as a form of  discrimination. This means it applies to employers with 15 or more employees and provides a legal basis for victims to seek justice.

In addition to Title VII, other federal laws provide additional protections against harassment. One important point to remember is the time frame for filing a claim. Under federal law, victims have a time frame of 300 days to file a sexual harassment claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Missouri Law and the Human Rights Act

Complementing federal laws are the Missouri laws and the Human Rights Act which provide additional layers of protection for employees. The Missouri Human Rights Act, for example, is a powerful state law that guards against sexual harassment, including harassment by third parties such as clients or customers.

Understanding these laws equips you with knowledge about your rights and the obligations of your employer, enabling you to take appropriate legal action when required.

Employer Responsibility in Preventing Third-Party Sexual Harassment

The responsibility of preventing sexual harassment does not lie solely with the employees. Employers in Kansas City are legally obligated to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. It is not enough for employers to only focus on preventing harassment amongst their employees; they must also ensure they are not exposed to such behavior from other third parties.

Employers need to create a respectful work atmosphere that is free from any form of sexual harassment and hostile work environment. This not only helps in preventing legal liability but also contributes significantly to productivity and job satisfaction.

Creating a Safe Work Environment

Creating a safe work environment involves:

  • Developing and enforcing policies and procedures that explicitly prohibit third-party harassment
  • Communicating the process for reporting harassment
  • Backing policies with training to identify and appropriately respond to such behaviors

A culture that tolerates any form of harassment tends to have a higher frequency of such incidents. On the other hand, a culture steeped in respect and inclusion fosters a work environment where employees feel safe to report incidents without fear of retaliation.

Responding to Incidents

How employers respond to incidents of sexual harassment, particularly by third parties, is crucial. They are held accountable for such incidents when they are aware of the misconduct and do not take appropriate action.

Upon receiving complaints of third-party harassment, employers must:

  • Conduct prompt and thorough investigations
  • Take necessary measures to prevent further incidents, which may include involving the police if criminal activities are suggested
  • Maintain confidentiality during the handling of harassment complaints to protect the individuals involved and prevent retaliation against the complainant.

A swift and confidential response is not just the best response, it’s the only response.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

When faced with sexual harassment, it’s crucial to have a clear roadmap for reporting. This involves not only notifying your employer but also understanding the broader process, including both internal complaint procedures and external reporting channels.

The first step is to immediately report the behavior to your supervisor or HR. In your report, specify that the harassment is by a third party, such as a client or vendor, and not a co-worker. If the harassment continues, a formal complaint should be filed with the management or human resources, preferably in written form or via email.

Internal Complaint Procedures

Internal complaint procedures outline that you should report every harassment incident and document all relevant details.

Upon receiving a complaint, Human Resources is tasked with:

  • Conducting a prompt investigation
  • Ensuring all involved parties understand the gravity of the accusation
  • Aiding employees in the formalization of written complaints when necessary

Internal complaint procedures are designed to protect you, so don’t hesitate to use them.

External Reporting Channels

In addition to internal sexual harassment complaints procedures, there are external reporting channels you can use to report sexual harassment. These include:

  • Government agencies such as the Missouri Commission on Human Rights
  • Kansas Human Rights Commission
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Kansas City Human Relations Department

It’s important to remember that for state law claims involving sexual harassment, reports must be filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) within 6 months of the incident. Collaborating with an attorney from Holman Schiavone Law, LLC is crucial during the reporting process with these agencies, as the statements made can significantly influence any subsequent legal proceedings. Our sexual harassment attorneys can help you by preparing your case, ensuring that all the necessary details are accounted for and represented in a manner that upholds your interests and aims for a positive outcome.

Your Legal Recourse Against Third-Party Harassment

An attorney speaking with his client.If you’re a victim of third-party sexual harassment or sexual assault, you can assert a legal claim by demonstrating that the unwanted physical conduct of a sexual nature was severe or pervasive enough to constitute sexual harassment.

Apart from filing a claim, you can also sue for damages if your employer did not take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from occurring. If a customer makes inappropriate comments and your employer ignores your complaints, you might have a case for a lawsuit.

Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim

Filing a sexual harassment claim involves providing proof of unwanted behavior and working with an attorney to ensure effective communication of your complaints and legal protection. Before taking any formal steps, it’s advisable to consult with a Kansas City sexual harassment lawyer from Holman Schiavone Law, LLC for guidance.

Proof is at the heart of any legal claim, so you need to provide evidence that you were subjected to unwanted behavior and that the behavior was severe or pervasive. Here’s a list of evidence that can support your claim:

  • Detailed descriptions of each incident, including dates, times, and locations
  • Communications such as emails, texts, or notes that may substantiate the incidents
  • Witness statements or contact information of those who might have observed the behavior
  • Any video or audio recordings of the incidents
  • Documentation of any reports made to supervisors or human resources departments
  • Records of any medical or psychological treatment sought as a result of the harassment

At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we can help you document your claim thoroughly. Our legal team will assist you in preparing your case, ensuring that all the necessary details are accounted for and represented in a way that upholds your interests and aims for a positive outcome.

Documentation and Evidence

Documentation and evidence are crucial in building a strong case. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Maintain a written record of sexual harassment incidents, including specifics like dates, times, and nature of the incidents.
  2. Include the identities of any witnesses.
  3. Report each harassment incident to your supervisors.
  4. Document all pertinent details.

Reporting third-party harassment in writing as soon as possible is crucial in establishing an official record, which can be invaluable during any subsequent legal actions. Following these steps can be crucial for building a strong case for potential compensation.

Seeking Compensation

Seeking compensation is an important aspect of asserting your rights after experiencing third-party sexual harassment. As a victim, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Lost wages due to harassment
  • Potential future income that may have been affected
  • Medical expenses incurred as a result of the harassment
  • Non-economic damages, which can include mental anguish, pain and suffering, and emotional distress

At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we provide crucial guidance and support throughout the compensation process. Our sexual harassment attorneys can help you by:

  • Evaluating your case and advising on the best course of action
  • Assisting with the collection and organization of the necessary evidence
  • Representing your interests in all legal proceedings
  • Advocating on your behalf to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve

Prevention is Key: Educating Employers and Employees

Prevention is key against sexual harassment and the cornerstone of prevention is education. Employers and employees must be educated on recognizing and responding to inappropriate behaviors. A workplace culture educated about sexual harassment can lead to increased productivity and higher job satisfaction among employees.

Training Programs

Training programs should be interactive, tailored to the audience, and focus on fostering a respectful and inclusive work environment. Regular and comprehensive training sessions accessible to all employees send a strong signal about the organization’s commitment to a harassment-free environment.

Leadership’s active support and involvement in training initiatives can significantly enhance their effectiveness. Advanced training initiatives for senior staff and the facilitation of bystander reports are strategic measures for mitigating instances of sexual harassment.

Empowering Employees

Empowering employees is another important aspect of preventing sexual harassment. This involves implementing clear reporting mechanisms, offering anonymous reporting options, and providing resources for emotional support.

Confidentiality plays a crucial role in empowering employees. It is maintained in reporting procedures to protect the identity of the employee and the information they provide. Resources for emotional support, such as counseling and employee assistance programs, are made available to help employees cope with the effects of harassment.

Building a Strong Case with Holman Schiavone Law, LLC

At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, we understand the intricacies of sexual harassment cases. With our personalized attention to every client and our experienced team of professionals, we ensure that your unique circumstances guide the construction of a strong case. Our legal team is experienced in handling court cases.

We believe that effective legal arguments paired with substantial evidence are crucial in upholding and succeeding in our client’s claims. We are committed to providing you with the trusted legal representation, guiding you through the complexities of reporting sexual harassment and helping you understand your rights.

Experienced legal representation can make a significant difference in your case. At Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, our attorneys provide crucial advice and representation in sexual harassment cases. We can guide you through legal proceedings and assist with the collection of evidence necessary for presenting a case before the court.

Contact Holman Schiavone Law, LLC for Protection Against Third-Party Sexual Harassment in Kansas City

Take charge of your workplace rights today. If you’re struggling with third-party sexual harassment, don’t wait for the situation to escalate. Reach out to Holman Schiavone Law, LLC at 816-399-5149. Our dedicated team is here to listen to your story, inform you of your legal options, and help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. Together, we can strive for a safer work environment where your well-being is prioritized. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Third-party sexual harassment occurs when the harasser is not an employee of the company, but someone from outside the organization, such as a client, customer, or vendor. This type of harassment can create an unsafe and uncomfortable work environment, and employees need to recognize and report such incidents promptly. Employers have a legal obligation to address these situations and protect their staff from harassment, regardless of the harasser’s affiliation with the company.

Yes, if your employer neglects to take reasonable steps to prevent third-party sexual harassment, you may have the grounds to sue for damages. This includes situations where the employer was made aware of the harassment and failed to take effective action to safeguard the employees. Taking legal action can compensate for any harm suffered and also encourages employers to maintain a safer work environment.

Training programs are essential in preventing sexual harassment as they help create a culture of respect and understanding within the workplace. Through these programs, employees learn to identify harassment, understand the repercussions for offenders, and the importance of reporting any incidents. They also ensure that everyone is aware of the company’s policies and procedures for dealing with harassment, contributing to a safer and more inclusive work environment.

If you experience sexual harassment by a third party such as a client or customer at your workplace, it is important to take immediate action. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Document the incident: Write down the details as soon as possible after the event, including the date, time, location, what happened, and any witnesses.
  2. Report the harassment: Inform your supervisor or human resources department about the incident. Provide them with your documentation.
  3. Follow up: If you do not receive a timely response, follow up with your report. You have the right to a safe work environment.
  4. Seek legal advice: Consider contacting a legal professional, such as Holman Schiavone Law, LLC, to discuss your rights and options.

Remember, you do not have to tolerate sexual harassment from anyone, including third parties, in your workplace.

Holman Schiavone Law, LLC can assist you in a sexual harassment case by providing personalized attention to understand the unique aspects of your situation. Our legal team is committed to representing your interests vigorously and supporting you every step of the way. We will help you in documenting incidents, collecting evidence, and building a compelling case to ensure that your voice is heard and justice is served.