If an independent contractor that I lsease space to sexually harrasses the female clientele, can I be named in a lawsuit if one of these women pursues a lawsuit against him?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If an independent contractor that I lsease space to sexually harrasses the female clientele, can I be named in a lawsuit if one of these women pursues a lawsuit against him?

I own a small skin care business and have independent contractors who rent space from me. I have no employees; I am incorporated as a Sub-S. I’ve just had a couple of complaints brought to my attention by some female clients who’ve had services (permanent cosmetics) performed by a male. Both said there was inappropriate comments made and touching of their breasts. I am trying to collect information but some do not want to come forward. My plan is to let him go but all I have is hearsay other than one woman who posted a very negative comment on my buiness Facebook page.

Asked on December 6, 2012 under Business Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the independent contractor truly is an independent contractor, you should not be liable for his sexual harassment. The problem is, if you exercise any degree of control  over him, a court could conclude that, for this purpose, he is not an independent contractor, but rather you are his employer, and therefore hold you liable. In salon, etc., type businesses, the lines between independent contractor and employee often blur; you do face some liability risk.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption