Is my employer responsible for sexual harassment by a client?
An employer can be sued for requiring an employee to put up with harassment.
I work at a design firm, choosing furnishings and decor for commercial office space. We have clients throughout the state, mostly commercial real estate management firms. Part of my job is to meet with our largest clients every quarter. Typically, we spend the day touring projects under development, reviewing product samples, planning new jobs, and going over budgets and specs; I also host a business lunch at a local restaurant.
Lately, one client has begun hitting on me relentlessly. It seemed like harmless flirtation at first, but he has not backed off even after I've told him that I'm married, that I'm not interested, and that I want to keep our relationship professional. The last time I met with him, he took every opportunity to try to get me alone and touch me. I told my boss what was going on, and that I was starting to feel a little frightened about the situation. My boss said handling this graciously was part of my job. Not only is the company unwilling to do anything to help me out, but my boss essentially implied that I would be responsible if our relationship with the client suffered. What should I do?