In Colorado and across the United States, when sexual harassment is mentioned, there may be a perception that it is limited to employers or employees behaving inappropriately. While this is undoubtedly true and can lead to justified allegations of harassment, there are other circumstances in which victimized employees are confronted with this issue and a legal claim is warranted. For example, if a worker is harassed by a non-employee, the workplace is responsible for protecting its employees from this treatment. If it fails to do so, there can be a legal filing. One recent case shows how this can occur.

Nursing home employees allegedly harassed by residents

Female nursing home workers complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about male residents harassing them and the facility failing to protect them. The EEOC has filed a lawsuit against the owners. According to the complaint, the women were repeatedly subjected to various forms of harassment including inappropriate comments and unwanted touching. One woman who complained about it was subsequently suspended and then terminated. In 2018, there had been a similar lawsuit against a Colorado company that provided the same type of care services.

The EEOC says that employees are entitled to protection from harassment regardless of who is accused of committing it. It even includes people who are not employed at the facility. While some cases in care facilities can be complicated because of the diminished capacity of those who are behaving inappropriately, this case does not fall into that category. The women said that the male residents grabbed them, exposed themselves, committed lewd acts, and uttered sex-based comments. The women are seeking back pay and interest. They also want compensation for the work violations.

Workers should understand their rights to compensation

When a person goes to work, they should do so free of the fear that they will be subjected to any form of mistreatment and legal violations. That includes a hostile work environment, discrimination, wages, retaliation, termination and harassment. If the employer does not follow the law and protect employees, there are avenues for workers to pursue to recover compensation for what they have endured. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in employment law can assist in determining how to proceed.