Make no mistake, some workplaces can be very chaotic not because of the work schedule, but rather because of the nature of the clients you are dealing with. While most clients are generally respectful, it is not uncommon to encounter a few who have no respect for your work.
So, what do you do if you are harassed by a customer at your place of work?
The law is on your side
Federal laws like Title VII protect you from all forms of harassment at work. While Title VII applies to harassment that is perpetrated by employers, supervisors and co-workers, it is important to understand that you can hold your employer liable for harassment that is perpetrated by a non-employee provided they knew or should have known about the problem and failed to take measures to stop it.
You have a number of options at your disposal when dealing with any form of workplace harassment. First, you need to report the incident to your supervisor or someone in authority as soon as possible. You might want to refer to the employee handbook to understand the procedure for filing a complaint.
Depending on the nature of the harassment, you can also file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). For this, you need to initiate your complaint within 180 days from the date of the incident.
If you are harassed by a non-employee at work, do not sit back and do nothing about it. Knowing your legal options can help you protect your rights and interests while handling a workplace harassment issue.