How much proof does someone need to prove that another person is being inappropriate (in a sexual manner) at work?  Where exactly is the line?  Just wondering ...

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Comment by Adam on May 16, 2013 at 1:25pm

Contact your Human Resources and there should be a trained officer who specializes in Sexual Harassment cases. If she actually does her job, she should launch an immediate investigation in the office.

Per Department of State classification, sexual harassment is defined as

  • Sexual pranks, or repeated sexual teasing, jokes, or innuendo, in person or via e-mail;
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
  • Touching or grabbing of a sexual nature;
  • Repeatedly standing too close to or brushing up against a person;
  • Repeatedly asking a person to socialize during off-duty hours when the person has said no or has indicated he or she is not interested (supervisors in particular should be careful not to pressure their employees to socialize);
  • Giving gifts or leaving objects that are sexually suggestive;
  • Repeatedly making sexually suggestive gestures;
  • Making or posting sexually demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons or other materials in the workplace;
  • Off-duty, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that affects the work environment.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 16, 2013 at 3:58pm

I think a good yardstick is when you start to feel uncomfortable by their behavior. That is when it should be flagged to a superior - in writing. I would also start recording (if possible) with a cellphone as soon as you suspect something inappropriate is going to start. Also start keeping a diary so events are documented if necessary for a tribunal. The most important thing is to act soon and try to end it as quickly as possible. I suspect it has gone on too long already. Be assertive - enough is enough already.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on May 16, 2013 at 4:02pm

Meant to include this link 

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on May 17, 2013 at 3:15am

Harassment is in the eye of the victim. Essentially, if you feel you are being harassed, then you are being harassed. Evidence is your friend. If they are sending you texts or emails, calling you repeatedly, making comments or gestures in front of other people, and other things like that, then it all helps to back up your claim.

And what these guys said ^^^

Comment by Unseen on May 17, 2013 at 8:31am

I find "inappropriate" to be a sissy word. If someone is doing something wrong or evil, let's use those terms. Grabbing a coworker's ass is wrong. Forget inappropriate.

On the other hand, we have the mind's eye of the recipient vs. the intentions of the perpetrator. 

Traditionally, for example, a man doesn't ask "May I kiss you?" he just kisses. And seemingly most women prefer it this way and find it a lot more romantic than the asking for permission approach. And the same might be said for many of the other sexual advances, too. If the kiss is unwanted, the recipient may feel something "inappropriate" has happened. This makes it a nonverbal cousin of the famous "he said, she said." 

Perhaps here the distinction goes to the situation: A workplace should mean that coworkers behave in a way with each other that either promotes or at least does not detract from the business' mission and purpose. This is why it's wrong for either sex to dress provocatively at work. (And notice, i didn't say "inappropriate," I said wrong.). Obviously, workplace standards vary. It's one thing if one works in an insurance agency or high school classroom as a teacher, another thing if one is a swimming instructor, and something else entirely if one is a casino cocktail server. 

Comment by Robyn on May 23, 2013 at 6:50pm

Why is it different for the cocktail server?

Comment by Unseen on May 23, 2013 at 6:58pm

In different jobs there are different implied rules. You can't seriously be asserting that the dress code for a casino cocktail server would be the same as for a female employee working in an office of Progressive Insurance, for example, can you? Or, better, for a showgirl in a nude revue at a Las Vegas casino vs. a female physician working in a pediatric care center.

I think you had a point, but I guess I'm not getting it.

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 23, 2013 at 7:11pm

The difference is in the job.

The entertainment company is overtly using sex to sell alcohol. The server understands this when she signs a contract and agrees to a company dress code. Her dress is a means of forwarding the mission of her company. 

In contrast, a physician has a dress code to promote her business- medicine. Her job is to make patients feel reassured, not aroused or uncomfortable. Her dress code will also have clauses for contamination control. 

Comment by Robyn on May 23, 2013 at 7:11pm

I understand the outfit is different, and the profession promotes bad behavior.  What about the blackjack dealer?  If comments are made....only inappropriate comments.  Just like the comments made to the cocktail server...but said to a blackjack dealer.  Because one has more clothes on, should there be a difference in how the situation is handled?  And what if it wasn't stomer, what if it was a coworker?c

Comment by Robyn on May 23, 2013 at 7:15pm

It's not a night club, or strip club....we treat our cocktail servers very well at our get get out.


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