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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 7141
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My Daughter works as a host at PF Changs in Monterey, CA. During

Customer Question

My Daughter works as a host at PF Changs in Monterey, CA.
During the holiday's the mall security sets up a shuttle system at the local
junior college and makes mall staff park at the college and ride tyhe shuttle
weather they like it or not, they told her if she park at the mall they will tow her car.
She is affraid to park there and has been subject to "cat calls and sexual remarks from
students atb the campus parking lot. She told her Boss about her concern and she was told
"oh that sucks" and thats it? She is only 18 this is her first job and feels she has no choice.
My question is what are her rights? And what should she do?
Thank You
Steve
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

LegalPro54 :

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

LegalPro54 :

An employer is typically free to require employees to park in a distant parking lot and walk to work.

LegalPro54 :

However, your question raises the potential issue of sexual harassment.

LegalPro54 :

The tricky issue here is that the harassment is not being perpetrated by an employee of her company.

Customer:

I'm not sure what that means, what does she need to ask her employer and how should she do it?

LegalPro54 :

That said, an employer may be responsible for the acts of non-employees if they know or should have known of the conduct and fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In such circumstances, courts will consider the extent of the employer's control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to
the conduct of such non-employees.


 

LegalPro54 :

I am gradually typing my response. Sorry for the delay.....

LegalPro54 :

California law requires an employer to "take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring." (Cal. Gov. Code, § 12940(k); Weeks v. Baker & McKenzie, 63 Cal. App. 4th 1128, 1146, 1174 (1998).)


 

LegalPro54 :

It would be wise in this situation to submit written notification to the employer that harassment is routinely occurring in the parking lot that she walks from to work.

LegalPro54 :

Although what she is experiencing may or may not actually qualify as "harassment," any employer with common sense would attempt to address the issue by allowing her to park closer rather than risk a lawsuit.

LegalPro54 :

However, since the conduct is not occurring at work but rather on her way to work, and the perpetrator are unidentified individuals who are likely different people on different occasions , the employer's liability is in this cirumstance is debatable.

Customer:

Should the Mall management receive this letter as well. They make the employees park at the local Junior College and wait for a shuttle bus that circuits back and fourth. Because they have to wait for the bus they can't just walk away from the situation.

LegalPro54 :

If the employer takes adverse employment action against your daughter for reporting the incidents, this would likely give rise to an actionable claim of retaliation.

LegalPro54 :

It can't hurt to send mall management the same letter, but since they are not the employer they would not have the same legal responsibility to prevent the harassment.

LegalPro54 :

I hope that this adequately answers your question.

Customer:

Does the employer have a legal responsibility to prevent the harrasment?

LegalPro54 :

Well, that's what my response I think is getting at. An employer has a legal duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. However, it is debatable whether this would qualify as sexual harassment in the work place for the reasons I mentioned above. I think any employer would be foolish to risk a lawsuit on this basis and would accommodate someone like your daughter by allowing them to park closer if she were to report the harassment in writing and request that all steps be taken to make it stop pursuant to Cal. Gov. Code, § 12940(k).

LegalPro54 :

Does this clarify?

LegalPro54 :

If it does, would you please kindly "accept" my answer so that I may receive credit for assisting you? Also, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

LegalPro54 :

I am still here if further clarification is needed...

Customer:

Just reading the last answer. thanks it's seems clear to me the does have the responsibility to fix this the problem is

Customer:

the manegers at a restaurant chain don't allways understand this.

Customer:

Thanks

LegalPro54 :

I think that they arguably do under the facts that you describe.

Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7141
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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