Could I sue my boss
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Could I sue my boss
I was recently sexual assaulted at work and
when I told my district manager what happened
she did try to help. I explained how it
happened at work and it was a customer who
constantly came in everyday and would assault
me. She basically said if I want to press
charges I can and then said when is your next
day off. Basically the owner found out the next
day and took me to the police to press charges
on the customer. So I wanted to know since
manager didn’t give assistant and it happened
while at work on duty do I have a case. I
honestly don’t think I feel safe now seeing as
she let this go for so long she knew about the
assaults for at least a month.
Asked on October 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
No, you cannot sue your boss over this, though you may have a sexual harassment complaint against the company.
The reason you can't sue your boss is that no person has a legal duty or obligation to defend another from assault, whether sexual or otherwise: you are allowed to be a passive bystander to a criminal assault. Since there is no duty to intervene, there is no liability for failing to do so--you can't be sued for failing to do something you simply did not have to do.
However, an employer has an obligation to prevent the sexual harassment of its workers. If your boss, who acted on behalf of your company, was aware of the harassment or assault and allowed it to happen, his failure to act could potentially make the employer liable for violating the laws forbidding sexual discrimination (harassment or assault is considered a form of discrimination for this purpose). If you wish to explore this option--liability against the employer, not the boss personally--contact the federal EEOC or speak with a employment law attorney.
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