Recent controversies in Hollywood, Westminster and those closer to home have shone the spotlight on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. These events should act as a wake-up call for employers about the need to ensure a culture of respect in the workplace and a zero-tolerance policy on harassment, sexual harassment and bullying of any kind. So what should employers be doing when it comes to sexual harassment and what do they need to know? The first step for employers is to know the law. The test for sexual harassment is subjective and therefore focuses on the effects of the conduct on an individual employee.
Employers beware of vicarious liability for discrimination and harassment | WISE Workplace
The Impact of Vicarious Liability on Employers
The developments mean employers such as the Gate Theatre could face cases in the Workplace Relations Commission or the civil courts from the women who have made claims against Michael Colgan. Organisations are legally liable for sexual harassment by their employees, even if the organisation itself is not at fault, a legal conference has heard. Mr Colgan has yet to respond publicly to the allegations. Mr Ryan explained that in the past, employees who suffered bullying had to prove their employers failed in a duty of care towards them, for example by placing them in a dangerous situation or failing to have written anti-bullying polices in place. It could occur during related activities. The developments mean employers such as the Gate Theatre could face cases in the Workplace Relations Commission or the civil courts from the women who have made claims against Mr Colgan.
Employer Faces Vicarious Liability Claim by Employee for Sexual Assault
Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace, free from workplace harassment. If one employee harasses another and the employer knew or should have known about it, the employer can be held liable. Employers may also be deemed vicariously liable in any case where the harasser is a supervisor. In the Supreme Court case Vance v.