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I am an advertising executive that is constantly harrassed by one of my clients. This person threatens to cancel the contract with the company that I work for, if I decide to give the account to a male representative. I'm just curious if there is anything that I can do. I have told my boss, and he is furious. The problem is that every time that I arrive to do business, he asks all of his employees to leave the area. Any information that you can give me would help. Thank you, Leanne

Thanks for your note. Because of the way that sexual harassment laws work, the only real case that you would have would be against your direct employer. Legally, sexual harassment laws are structured in two ways: quid pro quo--do this or I'll fire you; and hostile environment--when the harassment repeated, etc.... In this instance, it seems like you have one main choice: tell your employer that you won't tolerate this harassment any more. They must switch you and put someone else on the account. If your employer--after knowing about this harassment--doesn't agree to change the situation then you can do something because your employer is creating a hostile environment. So try that.

Also, this person could just be threatening you--for instance, the client knows that you can't lose the account, so tells you that they will quit--but maybe that's not the reality. In any instance, your employer should be willing to deal with this loss since the only alternative is for his employee to be harassed. I don't know if you want to become this involved, but is there any way to find out if he is harassing other employees inside his own company? It's likely that if he has done it once he will do it again.

I hope your boss sees it clear that he has to do something.


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