Being harassed by your supervisor can leave you feeling helpless given his or her position. That sense of helplessness can be even further compounded by feelings of isolation if you report what is happening to your employer in Kansas City, yet little to no action is taken to stop it. Many that we here at Thornberry Brown, LLC have worked with in the past have experienced the same feelings. They often presented the same question that you likely have: Can your employer be held liable in this scenario?
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the answer to that question is yes. It cites Supreme Court rulings that have assigned employers two basic responsibilities: accountability for the actions of its supervisors and to prevent harassment in the workplace as well as empowering employees to limit the harm that comes from it. For example, if the one harassing you is your supervisor, then reporting it through him or her is likely not an option. Thus, your employer should offer other avenues through which you can bring such activity to light. If and when you take advantage of those, appropriate corrective action should be taken (with you being kept informed of it).
If your employer fails in this regard, it can indeed share liability with your harasser. However, it may avoid blame if it shows there were resources in place to help you report or limit the harm caused by the harrasment, yet you did not take advantage of them. The same may be true if it took action against your supervisor, even if you did not agree with what was done.
More information on reporting sexual harassment is available here on our site.