HOW FAR DOES THE EMPLOYER’S LIABILITY TOWARDS ITS EMPLOYEES EXTEND IN RELATION TO HARASSMENT

Is it possible for an employer to be liable under the Employment Equity Act for utterances made by one of its customers towards its employees?

In this regard, the Employment Equity Act regulates situations of an employment relationship.  The liability therefore cannot be extended to customers acts of discrimination and/or harassment. 

Neither the CCMA nor the Labour Court has jurisdiction in this regard and an employee would not have a remedy against the employer.  His/her remedy would therefore lie within the Civil Courts or the Equality Court. 

For more information in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact Goldberg & De Villiers Inc., Human Resources & Labour Law Department, Telephone (041) 501 9818 and e-mail traceym@goldlaw.co.za.