Could I sue my boss regarding their inaction when I was sexually assaulted at work?
Question Details: I was recently sexually assaulted at work. When I told my district manager what occurred and she did try to help. I explained how it happened and it was a customer who constantly came in everyday and would assault me. My DM basically said if I wanted to press charges I could. Then she asked when my next day off was. The owner found out the next day and took me to the police to press charges on the customer. I wanted to know, since manager didn't give assistance and it happened while on duty at work, do I have a case? I honestly don't think I feel safe now seeing as she let this go for so long she knew about the assaults for at least a month.
No, you cannot sue your boss over this, though you may have a sexual harassment complaint against the company.
The reason you can't sue your boss is that no person has a legal duty or obligation to defend another from assault, whether sexual or otherwise: you are allowed to be a passive bystander to a criminal assault. Since there is no duty to intervene, there is no liability for failing to do so--you can't be sued for failing to do something you simply did not have to do.
However, an employer has an obligation to prevent the sexual harassment of its workers. If your boss, who acted on behalf of your company, was aware of the harassment or assault and allowed it to happen, his failure to act could potentially make the employer liable for violating the laws forbidding sexual discrimination (harassment or assault is considered a form of discrimination for this purpose). If you wish to explore this option--liability against the employer, not the boss personally--contact the federal EEOC or speak with a employment law attorney.