What are my rights working in a mental health facility if a client sexually harrasses me?

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What are my rights working in a mental health facility if a client sexually harrasses me?

My employer told me that I may not be able to press charges against this client because the client is in a “protected” environment. I am very upset over this occurance (he exposed himself to me and used sexually explicit language), however, am afraid to take action for fear of losing my job.

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Well, this may be true == you are in a mental health facility.  That is like saying you can sue an inmate for sexual harassment if you are a guard.  In other words, you know what you were getting yourself into when you took the job. 

So, now the issue is are there laws that protect them over you and/or prevent you from suing your employer? Probably.  Your best bet is to confer with the following:

1. The Pennsylvania Dept of Labor and Dept of Mental Health

2. A labor law attorney.  Try www.attorneypages.com and check his or her record at the Pennsylvania State Bar.


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