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Zero Tolerance

Even nonemployees must be held accountable to the law.

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This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

By now, employers should know they have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from sexual harassment and to act on any complaints, including those against independent contractors, vendors and anyone else who frequents the workplace.

A recent case at Washington County Hospital in Nashville, Illinois, involved a doctor who had a habit of intimidating female nurses. When one of the nurses sued her employer, the district judge ruled that because the doctor was an independent contractor, the hospital was not responsible for his conduct.

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