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How to Address Third Party Harassment

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

It is an employer's responsibility to maintain a workplace free from harassment. An employer must strive to protect employees from harassment by others as well as avoid having employees and supervisors harass third parties. Because an employer may be liable for any harassing conduct it knew or should have known about and failed to address, an employer should be concerned not only with harassment by and between employees, co-workers and supervisors, but also third parties and non-employees , e.g. independent contractors, vendors, suppliers, customers. An employer must implement the proper policies and procedures to minimize the potential for liability and harassment lawsuits as well as protect its legitimate business interests. In order to address third party harassment, an employer should take the steps below.