When many Texas employees think about sexual harassment in the workplace, they might immediately think about it being perpetrated by co-workers, supervisors or bosses. However, a study showed that sexual harassment coming from customers or clients could be just as damaging and as problematic for employees.
Sexual harassment coming from customers or clients may be more common in some industries than others. For example, those who work in the service industry may be more likely to experience harassment from customers simply because they are required to work face-to-face with them. In the study, 2.4 percent of Danish employees who responded said they were exposed to sexual harassment from customers or clients, while 1 percent were exposed to sexual harassment from colleagues.
Many workers who work in certain industries, such as in social work or medicine, may believe that sexual harassment from clients is just part of the job. However, this is not the case. If an employer is aware that a worker is being sexually harassed by a client but does nothing about it, that employer may be contributing to the problem. Even so, many employees are still hesitant to report sexual harassment to their employer as they may believe that they will either be punished or not believed.
When workers are not protected against sexual harassment from clients, their performances may suffer. They could also potentially lose out on promotions and other advancement opportunities especially if the employer punishes workers for reporting the incidents. An employee rights attorney may investigate the claims and may assist with seeking compensation for income the workers were unable to earn. The attorney may use incident reports, emails and texts that demonstrate that sexual harassment was occurring and that the employer was aware of it.