I have a work day that typically consists of face to face interactions with customers. However, my company wants to start facilitating these daily interactions via video chat that is easily available to anyone across the globe. Needless to say, it's only a matter of time until a naked individual pops up on my computer at work. When this happens, do I have a hostile work environment lawsuit on my hands?

Obviously, I don't think anybody could sue a company if a customer walked in and stripped off all their clothes. However, in this case, the company is creating an environment where this situation could easily occur with a high degree of anonymity. In a brick and mortar store, I can remove myself from the situation and have security to deal with it, but I am afforded none of these options in the new situation.

It's basically Chat Roulette.


"Needless to say, it's only a matter of time until a naked individual pops up on my computer at work."

If your customers are the type of people who would do this then interacting with them over the internet rather than face-to-face sounds like a massive improvement in Work Health and Safety.

If this is really a legitimate concern, then I suggest that you ask your employer how you should deal with it if it happens and work with them to develop a procedure that is mutually acceptable.

You have not given a jurisdiction but most Work Health and Safety laws require employers to consult with their workers to minimise reasonable risk of harm. Employers in all sorts of hazardous industries from mining to sex work and construction to farming generally manage to do this.

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