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Missouri Court Upholds $1,000,000 Punitive Damages Award to Employee Sexually Harassed by Customers!

Your employer may be liable for punitive damagers if a customer or client sexually harasses you. This is because your employer has a duty under both Title VII and the Missouri Human Rights Act to maintain a work environment free from discrimination. When an employee suffers sexual harassment by a customer or client who the employee comes into contact with because of the employment relationship, and the harassment is sufficiently severe and pervasive to create a hostile work environment, the employer breaches its duty if it knows or should have known of the discrimination and fails to take prompt and effective remedial action.

In recent case called Diaz v. Autozoners, LLC, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, upheld a $1,000,000 punitive damages verdict where the employee-plaintiff alleged she was sexually harassed by two customers and her employer knew or should have known of the harassing conduct but failed to promptly remedy the situation. Diaz v. Autozoners, LLC, 484 S.W.3d 64, 76-77 (Mo. Ct. App. 2015)reh'g and/or transfer denied (Dec. 22, 2015), transfer denied (Apr. 5, 2016).

If You Are Sexually Harassed at Work:

If you are sexually harassed at work, even by a customer or client, report it to your employer immediately. If you want to speak with a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Kansas City who can help you with this difficult process, call Davis George Mook today at 816-569-2629

Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Are Unlawful: Know Your Rights!

Did You Know?

It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his/her sex in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.

Missouri and Federal laws also prohibit the following types of sex-based discrimination:

  • Pregnancy-based
  • Compensation
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Gender-based

Pregnancy-Based Discrimination

Employers, current or prospective, cannot discriminate against you on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Compensation Discrimination

Employees are entitled to equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. All forms of compensation are covered, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, and benefits.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination based on sexually explicit behavior. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to sexual advances or conduct is made a term or condition of an individual's employment ("If you want to continue working here... ")
  2. Submission to or rejection of sexual advances or conduct is used as the basis of employment decisions ("If you want that promotion or pay raise...")
  3. Such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. This is where the sexual conduct is so pervasive or severe that it creates an abusive working environment.

Gender-Based Harassment

Another type of sexual harassment is called gender-based harassment. It does not involve explicit sexual behavior. This type of harassment includes epithets, slurs, and negative stereotyping of men or women, directed at a female or male employee. It may include denigrating or hostile written material about men or women posted or circulated in the workplace. Harassment due to gender is comparable to harassment due to race. If it is severe or pervasive enough to create hostile working environment, then it can violate the law.