Harrassment in the workplace?

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  • except you know darned well at least some of the recipients will believe you and he have been carrying on.
  • Guacamole had great advice. In my experience with HR, one of the definitions of sexual harrassment is "unwanted" comments or touching. While what he is doing is clearly inappropriate, you need to make it clear to him that it's unwanted. The best way is by email so there's a paper trail. Also remember that if he is doing this to you, he either has, or will, do it to others. If I were in that position, I would email him and tell him to stop, then I would e-mail (think papertrail) HR what has happened and that you don't want to make a formal complaint at this time, but you want them to be aware in case anyone else makes a similiar complaint. (They may or may not address it with him, depending on your HR--most will to cover their butts from lawsuits). The reason I suggest a paper trail with HR is because we had an employee who was written up a couple times for sexual harrassment, but the complaints mysteriously disappeared out of his personnel file because a certain manager liked the guy. At minimum, tell him to stop. Preferably, also tell HR what you have done because they deserve to be aware in case it happens to anyone else. Think about this guy getting promoted. HR should know about this so they can make good decisions about who to promote. On a side note, in my experience, when coworkers harrassed me and I told them to stop, they did, with no further problems. On the other hand, when I rejected supervisors approaches, they became A**holes. Don't let this scum get promoted.
  • Guacamole, munchy, beachpatrol -

    I like that approach. I am going to have a word with him when we have a moment. Very very busy week this week for him and his team so not a good time for an "aside" chat UNLESS he says something out of line to me.
  • re:
    I'm sorry, but his schedule isn't the issue here. Too bad if he's busy. You really have to start thinking of this has "he is doing something wrong." rather than not wanting to inconvenience him and being a bother. How much of YOUR time has he absorbed by you having to deal with it?

    .
  • Mammasite, good for you for looking into this and getting input! I imagine that if it were me in the situation, I might have the same "I don't want to destroy his career" response you've described, so I really want to offer you a "yay" for deciding to move beyond that. Based on your response about if your husband (hypothetically) were to make these comments, you know that they are out of line. It's just hard sometimes to put ourselves first when it comes at the risk of someone else encountering problems, but everyone here is right - anything he endures will be a result of his thoughtlessness and not in any way your fault.

    I think it's fantastic that you'll tell him his comments are unwanted. If I can make another suggestion, it's probably a good idea to follow the conversation up with an email just so that you do have a paper trail in case it is needed later on.

    Good for you. Best of luck!
  • Quote:
    and added thought - what happens someday when he hits "reply all" instead of just you on one of those emails?
    That's a great point! Don't let this happen to you! You have to put yourself first.
  • have you talked to him about it? i ask because i have a lot of harmless friends that act this way as well. but once it made me uncomfortable (my friend josh was flirting with me with his gf in the next room) i talked to him, told him that it wasnt cool, and he stopped.

    i think you should give him a warning before you get the boss involved, if you have already told him it makes you uncomfortable, go to hr and talk to them. but if you havent talked to him he may not see that his behavior is inappropriate
  • I agree that you should first give him a chance to adjust his behavior and act properly. Tell him his remarks and e-mails are making you feel uncomfortable and if they don't stop you will be forced to report him to HR. I'm sure this will make him stop. If it doesn't, go straight away to HR, because he's the one ruining his own career. And also, his poor wife.
  • NOT saying anything (either to him directly, thru email, or thru HR) is giving him tacit permission to continue.

    A simple "listen, this is making me uncomfortable let's just keep things professional ok?" is enough, but if he persists it's HR time for sure!!

    **I had an incident last year, a guy overheard me saying something like "just slip it into my box" meaning my mail slot and he said "that's right SHOVE it in her box, she LOVES it when you JAM it in her box" NO KIDDING. I waited til we were alone, and I said "If my husband had heard you say those things, you would have been on the ground in 2 minutes" He hasn't looked twice at me since
  • mamacita, I hope everyone's replies and support will MAKE you take action...no man should make us so uncomfortable when it is not our fault!!

    and it makes you feel so very good to be able to take them up on it. Let them know that at least in this case, it will not be tolerated and it is NOT okay.

    one d-bag customer commented on my tee shirt, it was a t-shirt from a function we had both coincidentally been to... and he said 'but it always looks better on my bedroom floor' and there was a line of customers. I waited a couple days and went to HIS workplace, went right up to him and oh-so-quietly and calmly said 'don't you EVER embarrass me at my workplace like that'.

    I know my incidence didn't involve touching but still it was gross to me and I felt so very good standing up for myself. Trazey, you did great!!
  • This is just my OPINION.

    Going directly to HR is going to put you on their radar. Right or wrong - it will. It is also going to be a pain.

    I would suggest simply telling the guy, in an email, that the extra attention is not wanted. You don't need to tell him you're going to HR. Just tell him to stop.

    Something like this.

    Hi Bob -

    I just wanted you to know I am not a huggy touchy person so the attention you're giving me makes me uncomfortable. Please stop.

    Also I am not interested in any kind of relationship with you regardless of whether you're married, or not.

    Thank you,

    Joyce

    If he continues then you go to HR. You have a paper trail, and you look like someone who is smart and tried to solve the problem without wasting company resources.
  • You have to stick up for yourself and just say "stop it, I don't want you to talk to me like that or touch me". Say it firmly and assertively.

    I know so many of my friends who always complain about unwanted male attention and I can't help but think it's because they WANT attention, because if they didn't they'd say "bugger off" right off the bat. Plus, then they get the added attention from complaining to their friends about it.

    Not sure if that's your circumstance and it might be different since he is a co-worker. Plus, I'm probably bad at understanding people's sensitivity around subjects like that since I'm pretty blunt and honest with everyone lol.
  • Quote: This is just my OPINION.

    Going directly to HR is going to put you on their radar. Right or wrong - it will. It is also going to be a pain.

    I would suggest simply telling the guy, in an email, that the extra attention is not wanted. You don't need to tell him you're going to HR. Just tell him to stop.

    Something like this.

    Hi Bob -

    I just wanted you to know I am not a huggy touchy person so the attention you're giving me makes me uncomfortable. Please stop.

    Also I am not interested in any kind of relationship with you regardless of whether you're married, or not.

    Thank you,

    Joyce

    If he continues then you go to HR. You have a paper trail, and you look like someone who is smart and tried to solve the problem without wasting company resources.
    I agree with your opinion 100%. I do feel like problems should be solved at the lowest level possible. If that doesn't work, it should be escalated.

    I also know that going to HR would put me on the radar......without a doubt.
  • At one time a supervisor at work, not my supervisor but of another department asked me to go out with him. he is married and a total jerk, I wouldn't have gone out with him if he were the last man on earth. I wondered how to turn him down as knowing the jerk that he is if I didn't handle it properly that he could make trouble for me. I just said"No, Ron, I don't think that would be a good idea." Some months later he came to me and reminded me of asking me out and said to me "You were right." And that was the end of that.
  • Quote: Guacamole, munchy, beachpatrol -

    I like that approach. I am going to have a word with him when we have a moment. Very very busy week this week for him and his team so not a good time for an "aside" chat UNLESS he says something out of line to me.
    You can send the email right now! If you don't have it via paper trail, there really isn't any way of showing that you did tell him to stop. JohnP's advice is spot on.