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Category: Employment Law
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What is the liability of the Employer in this situation

Resolved Question:

My 16 year old daughter went in to her bosses to make a complaint about a coworker that is harassing her. She is a minor and he is 24 - she is not the only person who he is harassing. She was treated badly by one of the supervisors and accused of encouraging it since she had consentual sex with this person once last March when they were stuck at work overnight due to an ice storm. She has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with him and the employer knows about all of this. He continues to make comments and call her names at work and she wants this to stop.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  BusinessDoc replied 9 years ago.
It sounds like this would qualify as sexual harassment. Employers are legally responsible for the actions of employees who create a "hostile environment". The fact that she had consensual sex with him in the past does NOT give him immunity from the current actions being appropriate defined as sexual harassment.

At this point, since the employer has failed to correct the problem, the appropriate next step is to contact the EEOC to file a formal complaint.

You said that your daughter has consensual sex with this man "last March". Since she is 16 now, it would appear that she was 15 at the time of the sexual relationship. This would appear to violate state law, and criminal charges could be filed against this individual.
BusinessDoc and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  BusinessDoc replied 9 years ago.
The Iowa Code Section 709.4 would seem to apply

709.4 Sexual abuse in the third degree.

A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under any of the following circumstances:

1. The act is done by force or against the will of the other participant, whether or not the other participant is the person's spouse or is cohabiting with the person.

2. The act is between persons who are not at the time cohabiting as husband and wife and if any of the following are true:

a. The other participant is suffering from a mental defect or incapacity which precludes giving consent.

b. The other participant is twelve or thirteen years of age.

c. The other participant is fourteen or fifteen years of age and any of the following are true:

(1) The person is a member of the same household as the other participant.

(2) The person is related to the other participant by blood or affinity to the fourth degree.

(3) The person is in a position of authority over the other participant and uses that authority to coerce the other participant to submit.

(4) The person is five or more years older than the other participant.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
This confirms what I thought - thank you for the information