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fresh


Sep 15, 2008, 9:25 AM
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dealing with guys who cross the line at work
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last week was a rough one for my girlfriend. she's 24, she works in an engineering firm, and is one of 3-4 girls her age among 50ish guys. she's friends with most of the guys she works with. she sits with them at lunch as they oggle the good looking girls in the cafeteria. typically they say all kinds of brutish things about them, which bugs her, but what can you do? they're guys.

on wednesday, she was already having a rough day overall. as she was leaving the cafeteria after lunch, two of her friends were walking behind her. one of them says "look at [my girlfriend], she has a nice ass." she gets pissed, turns around, and hits him in the stomach. she's clearly angry and storms off. it's not the first time someone's commented on her ass, but this time it was in a sufficiently brutish manner, and she was having a sufficiently crappy day, that she got angry and reacted. later, he emailed her and gave her a [weak-sauce, imo] apology. they've made amends.

last friday night, everyone from her office went out for some drinks. after the company bar-time was over, they stayed for some more drinks. at one point, she jokingly took $100 from one of her coworkers--we'll call him "the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass" (not his real name)--in a joking way. he got kinda angry so she gave it back.

later on, as she was waiting for a male friend to get out of the bathroom, the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass grabbed my girlfriend's ass. she turned around, slapped him, said "don't you ever fucking do that again," and stormed out to her car. she called me, talked to another coworker, cried, and eventually went home.

the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass called her on saturday, but she didn't answer. she called him back sunday, but he didn't answer.

with respect to girls, guys have two factions in their heads constantly at war with each other. the empathetic, platonic side, and the impregnate-everything-with-a-uterus side. it's part of our nature. so I'm wondering. how many of you have dealt with this? given these details, how would you deal with it? how would you recommend your best friend deal with it?

thanks.

(edit: she reminded me she's 24. whoops Pirate)


(This post was edited by fresh on Sep 15, 2008, 9:29 AM)


wonderwoman


Sep 15, 2008, 9:47 AM
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This just plain sucks!

First of all, I would cut off all 'friendly' relations with this guy. What I mean by this is that if he calls her, she shouldn't call him back. Her next interaction with him should be via a third party - preferably a manager. She needs to tell her boss right away. There are laws protecting people from these sorts of things.

Something similar but less serious happened to me when I was 20. I told my boss and the guy got written up. The guy was mad that I reported him and we weren't friends after that - but I felt a lot better. He eventually quit and I felt even better after that!

Things like this are best brought out in the open. That is the only way that she is going to be able to protect herself.


granite_grrl


Sep 15, 2008, 10:40 AM
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I've heard stories like that before, but I fortunally have never had to deal with it myself. If she's an engineer she should be working in a professional environment. Doesn't matter if its a factory floor (I'm an engineer in a factory), her coworkers should be professional.

First, it looks like she's in a poisoned work environment. A place where that kind of behavior is allowed on some level. You have no idea how much training I've had about that kind of crap. The stance my company takes is that shit can't and won't happen, and they clearly outline what would should do if it does (for any kind of mistreatment). the training in boring, but I'm lucky I guess.

She should never have let the previous comments slide, she should have brought those up with managment before. She allowed them to push it further. If management won't take her seriously she might have to bring it even higher or she might have to quit.

Second she seems to be mixing her work environment with her "play" environment. She's at a bar in a rowdy environment, rowdy stuff tends to happen. If she wants to avoid that situation then she shouldn't leave herself in that position. This is outside of work and its not really reasonable for her to expect the guy to act professional outside of work (and though he should have the common respect, but a lot of guys are pigs).

I'm not sure what she should do now. I think all she can do is talk with her boss or someone in HR about it.


fresh


Sep 15, 2008, 11:51 AM
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fwiw, she did speak to HR when the first guy made the comment about her ass. she didn't name any names.

what's ironic is that the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass had helped her through a previous incident, where an executive at a different company had put his hand on her leg during a weekend conference, while a group of them were at a bar. at the time, the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass said she should bring it up to management. she didn't because she didn't know who to talk to, and because she didn't see what good would come of it.

as far as I know, she hasn't had any other incidents like the two in the OP, and the one I just mentioned.

and, er: "This is outside of work and its not really reasonable for her to expect the guy to act professional outside of work." duh? like I mentioned, there's plenty of unprofessional behavior she puts up with even during work.

my advice to her is that she should fully disclose what happened to HR. she's afraid the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass will come back and say "well, she slapped me." or, "well, she stole $100." I try to tell her that HR isn't gonna care. lots of times I feel the way I feel when she's lead climbing. I can't tell her what to do, but damn I wish I could make her just do it. but she's kind of bellicose, so she expects others to be.


wonderwoman


Sep 15, 2008, 12:05 PM
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I'm willing to bet that HR is not going to care as much about the slapping incident as they will be concerned about getting sued by her. People take these situations very seriously, as they should. Best of luck to her!


granite_grrl


Sep 15, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Yes, the thing is to completly disclose it to HR. If she doesn't she's just leaving herslef open for it to keep happening.

I'm sorry if I sounded a little harsh, but its hard when you don't know the full story and the people behind it. When I was younger I've gone out and partied with coworkers who couldn't hold their liquor and the results were bad. Guess I've learned a few things from experiance which may or may not be fair concerning your friend.


lena_chita
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Sep 15, 2008, 12:27 PM
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Sorry that your gf is having such crap to deal with.

I am not sure of her work environment structure, but you keep mentioning talking to HR, and I wonder if she could talk to her boss/manager first. Who is her immediate supervisor?

Also, you mentioned that there are several other women working there with her. Has she talked to them? Are they experiencing the same sort of problems, or is this specific to her?

If they are dealing with the same shit, then going to the manager together would hold A LOT more weight and will probably get things fixed quickly. Are any of these women in a more senior position, so they could advice her on how to hendle this?


If she is the only one dealing with this sort of stuff, then the question is WHY is she the only one? Is she the only young/unmarried/atractive woman of the bunch? Is she the only one who is being chummy with the guys, going out for drinks at the bar, and such? Or is there something she could change to appear more busness-like and professional to the guys she is working with? She may be getting "too close" with them and she might need to step back and re-establish the distance.

As a woman working in science (aka male-dominated environment) I've had to deal with a certain amount of "guy stuff". it is not uncommon to be the only woman in a group of guys who start talking shit about their girlfriends, or discussing the attributes of the pretty waitress, or just making a whole lot of lame guy talk that completely excludes the only female at the table.

I've had guys make comments about my appearance that could be interpreted as suggestive and/or degrading, but that sort of stuff I can deal with. Different people handle it differently, but to me, responding to a comment of "nice legs/ass/ rack, etc" by hitting the person would be a gross over-reaction, no matter how crappy my day is. Depending on the circumstances, I would probably turn it into a joke, respond in kind, or pretend to not hear it, while making a mental note to have as little contact as possible with this person.

Some guys skirt the line, sort-of touching a bit more than strictly necessary, standing just a tad too close, but still making it appear to be an accident or just a casual contact. (patting the shoulder, or arm, brushing againt you, leaning over you to reach something in situations where it could be easily avoided-- that sort of stuff.) This is easily avoidable. it is almost like 'testing waters'-- is she O.K. with it? Can I push a bit more? Quickly moving away, being on guard and maintaining 'safe' distance usually puts an end to this sort of stuff. (And I should add that it is a minority of people who do this stuff. Sometimes it is just a personality/personal-space stuff, that person is treating everyone the same way, and it is up to you to establish your boundaries)

But I never had to deal with anything like you describe. No outright all-out touching or grabbing.

That requires a very direct and immediate responce along the lines of: "look, if any part of you touches my body again, you will be walking out of this building in handcuffs. Is that clear?" Followed by no contact with that person whatsoever, unless there is someone else in the room, and as little of it as possible in work environment. ABSOLUTELY no contact outside work.


Partner happiegrrrl


Sep 15, 2008, 1:01 PM
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I worked for a company back in the late '80's that sounds a lot similar.
- The men who worked there tended to be a decade or more older than the women.
- The guys acted like " guys just being guys" on a daily basis(the owner would show a peak at his underwear to one girl often. One day I felt something on my leg and turned around expecting to see a rat - and I did! It was the boss. On his knees and running his hands up my calf.)
- The company hosted lots of after-work hours parties which were always in a restaurant/bar situation.

Back then there really wasn't much recourse for a woman being harassed. You'd be blacklisted from the industry in a minute if you ever went to a lawyer, and that would be what you had to do because there was no HR person or protocol.

It's different nowdays, but it sounds like your g/friend is getting into ugly territory. She may find herself being ostricized for not "playing along" and then things may begin to get worse. Nasty remarks made under the breath. Sabotaged projects. Garbage like that.

That she went to HR and "didn't name a name" is....odd. Did she refuse to do so? Did the HR person push for it to formalize the complaint? If the HR person just "took notes" and shrugged it off, it sounds like a situation she may not get any real help with the issue and may even find her reports not accurately documented - which would be a bad thing if people began increasing the harassment.

She may want to speak with an attorney or some sort of advocate for women's rights in the workplace. What's going on does cross lines into harassment and she should be careful about how she proceeds.


seanhabgood


Sep 15, 2008, 1:11 PM
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In this day and age such behavior is not cool. The women of this company could sue and most likely win a large settlement. They need to contact HR so the company can take action to stop this behavior. I work in government where if you touch some one on the arm and they don't like it you get sexual harassment training. I don't know about you if some one did that to my girl friend it would be ugly. Good luck Sean


zenelky


Sep 15, 2008, 1:43 PM
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From my experience, if she trusts her HR person than she should disclose everything, but if her gut says that if the HR person will listen to him over her...she's probably right.

I've had similar experience, although not at a workplace, at school, and when I told the boss what happened, he believed the other guy, who made up some B.S. about me. Made my life a living hell for 2 years at that place because I couldn't even walk down the halls without his friends and co-workers (who were my co-workers too, thus I would have assumed would have known that what he said were blatent lies) giving me evil looks, and rude comments.

Sexual harassment isn't as easy as some may think. If she doesn't trust HR, then she really needs to go to someone else that is above her that she does know and she must disclose it, else the dude will keep doing it. If he out-ranks her in any way there's good chance that if she discloses it and they opt to listen to him or flat out not believe her, then she is putting her job at risk and jobs that she'll have in the future. Even if who she discloses it to is another woman (as in my case, it was and I thought she'd be sympathetic), we are still living in a society where large breasts and a cute butt are all that most people see, men and women. Women still have to make great strides and it's not easy.

Like Michelle Obama said "There are a million cracks in the glass ceiling", but you have realize there IS STILL A GLASS CEILING!

Wish her luck.


matterunomama


Sep 15, 2008, 4:35 PM
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I have found that calling people on it, immediately and by name if possible, works well. I favor a loud voice with a wide eyed puzzled expression. To a comment: "What did you say, Joe...what?.. nothing??.." To a hand in the wrong place "What did you just do with your hand?" or "Remove your hand!"

The only person who didn't respond was a drunk blind guy in a taxi who I heard later gets away with it a lot-When he didn't move his hand I grabbed his little finger and bent it back. He moved it.

There was a lot of that in the workplace in the early 80's and we had to deal with it but it should not be tolerated anymore


aerili


Sep 15, 2008, 9:33 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
I've had guys make comments about my appearance that could be interpreted as suggestive and/or degrading, but that sort of stuff I can deal with. Different people handle it differently, but to me, responding to a comment of "nice legs/ass/ rack, etc" by hitting the person would be a gross over-reaction, no matter how crappy my day is.

Agreed. To be honest, I'm not sure HR would actually look that favorably upon her behavior either; I mean, it is, after all, battery! And not exactly "self defense!" HR may not punish her but they may warn her she cannot deal with these events in such a childish way. Hitting people is a really stupid move on her part and could really backfire on her.

Your g-friend needs to establish some friendly but pacifist distance with her co-workers as lena said.

My last job was in a division of 100% men except for perhaps 4 women. Twice a year, everyone from across the U.S. and Canada traveled to a meeting. These were the times when I had the most problems with things. I was the only younger female of non-overweight proportions, and b/c everyone was "away from home" and staying in the same hotel w/ no vehicles, there was a lot of drinking in hotel bars during after hours and/or during company dinners.

The second to last meeting I attended was the hardest for me. Not only did I always contend with my 4 male co-workers' highly increased attentions (since I was closest to them) during these meetings, but this one resulted in one guy trying to feel up my leg during a ride back from a company baseball game outing and another trying to force himself into the seat next to me on the company bus during a different return trip from the bar stopover we'd made. (As I had been warned by another co-worker that he was basically a sexual predator when under the influence, I stood my ground and refused to let him into the seat by me.) Upon returning to our hotel, he and two other co-workers were yelling at me in the lobby trying to harass me into going to the bar again with them since they saw me running up the stairs.

My point is that believe me I've had practice in avoiding the wrong situations or standing my ground when co-workers try to cross the line--all during co-worker get-togethers off company time. She needs to become sensitized to this skill, b/c if she's not on the clock, there's nothing HR can do.


(This post was edited by aerili on Sep 15, 2008, 9:36 PM)


troutboy


Sep 16, 2008, 5:36 AM
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aerili wrote:
She needs to become sensitized to this skill, b/c if she's not on the clock, there's nothing HR can do.

There has been some good advice in this thread, but this statement may not actually be correct, in either a legal or "best interest of the company" sense.

Going out for a drink w/co workers after work, yes. Only a well educated or very sympathetic HR program would try to help.

Going to a company sponsored after work baseball game and being harassed, different story. The company would most certainly lose a sexual harassment suit if they did not act on complaints at such an event and the harassment occurred again (either at work or not).

Another example:

If the boss suggest a "quid pro quo" arrangement over dinner after work, it's still sexual harassment. The actual harassment does not have to occur in the workplace.

The thing is, if one does not ever register a complaint, there will be no action. However, as mentioned already, there are still companies out there that treat SH as "boys will be boys". If that is the nature of your company, might be best to find another job (realizing how unfair that solution is to the person being harassed).

TS


Partner epoch
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Sep 16, 2008, 6:07 AM
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This is a case of sexual harassment. The atmosphere created by the coworkers have created a hostile workplace, and regardless of your girfriend's physical actions towards her co-workers in retort to their plying she needs to report this to her superiors.

The proper course of action is to report it to her supervisor, then his/her supervisor. If this doesn't change the behavior around her, or she receives a flack of shit from her coworkers about it then she should go immediately to HR.

This could warrent an investigation from the EEOC, and she has full right to report it to them. However before she lodges a formal complaint be sure that she has sourced all other avenues - her chain of command and company HR.

You may find that she may be a bit reluctant to report it, because her humanistic side will play into the emotion that other than the harassment they are decent individuals and she wouldn't want to see harm befall them. However, if this goes unreported it won't stop on its own.

Harassment, be it racial, sexual, religion, etc. is one and the same in or out of the workplace. Just because it happened after working hours off campus does not preclude the fact that these actions are indeed harassment.

Check out the EEOC page: http://www.eeoc.gov There are some resources on there to help you with this. Have her start the process with her chain of command, and have her write down the details of the incident - starting from when these behaviors started all the way through the incident that you have reported on here.

Cheers,
-Jay


~For what it's worth, I have a Business degree with a certificate in Human Resources. If you have the free time, permissions, and resources I'd love to get a copy of this entire story depicting the escalation to this event. It presents an interesting case for presentation and studying.


Partner epoch
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Sep 16, 2008, 6:10 AM
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aerili wrote:
She needs to become sensitized to this skill, b/c if she's not on the clock, there's nothing HR can do.

False.

If a group of coworkers go out and something happens that would facilitate an uncomfortable or a hostile work environment it is an HR issue.


Partner epoch
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Sep 16, 2008, 7:02 AM
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epoch wrote:
This is a case of sexual harassment. The atmosphere created by the coworkers have created a hostile workplace, and regardless of your girfriend's physical actions towards her co-workers in retort to their plying she needs to report this to her superiors.

The proper course of action is to report it to her supervisor, then his/her supervisor. If this doesn't change the behavior around her, or she receives a flack of shit from her coworkers about it then she should go immediately to HR.

This could warrent an investigation from the EEOC, and she has full right to report it to them. However before she lodges a formal complaint be sure that she has sourced all other avenues - her chain of command and company HR.

You may find that she may be a bit reluctant to report it, because her humanistic side will play into the emotion that other than the harassment they are decent individuals and she wouldn't want to see harm befall them. However, if this goes unreported it won't stop on its own.

Harassment, be it racial, sexual, religion, etc. is one and the same in or out of the workplace. Just because it happened after working hours off campus does not preclude the fact that these actions are indeed harassment.

Check out the EEOC page: http://www.eeoc.gov There are some resources on there to help you with this. Have her start the process with her chain of command, and have her write down the details of the incident - starting from when these behaviors started all the way through the incident that you have reported on here.

Cheers,
-Jay


~For what it's worth, I have a Business degree with a certificate in Human Resources. If you have the free time, permissions, and resources I'd love to get a copy of this entire story depicting the escalation to this event. It presents an interesting case for presentation and studying.

Oh, and I forgot to add that harassment (sexual or otherwise) and discrimination is not only wrong, it's illegal. It's against the law. There are also laws enacted and in place to protect those who report wrongdoings from retaliation.


fresh


Sep 16, 2008, 7:06 AM
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thanks a lot for the replies. I have a feeling that her physical reaction isn't relevant. it's self-defense. and I mean, she's not gonna pause to think "is this a mature, rational thing to do?" haha.. it's an instinctive reaction.

the crux for her is that these guys have been pretty good friends. she used to call the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass the little brother she never wanted (although he's 28), and the other guy had always been someone she liked talking to. furthermore, it's kinda hard to report the individuals when it's possible the whole group of them will start shunning her. I try to tell her it's just business. no one should take it personally, she has to do what she has to do.

anyway, she has talked to HR about it but again hasn't mentioned any names. her supervisors are supposed to be talking about it and she hasn't made her mind up yet about giving names.

the asshole who grabbed my girlfriend's ass approached her yesterday afternoon and said all the right things. he apologized for disrespecting her, he said he'd understand if she reported him, and he said he hoped that whatever happens, they can remain friends. to me, this doesn't change whether or not he should be reported. it's easy to say the right things. I think she should've reported him first thing yesterday morning. I also think the company sucks in general and she should have left months ago. but hey it's not about me, and I don't see things from where she is.


blueshrimp


Sep 16, 2008, 8:00 AM
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Hmm...I'm an engineer that works with only guys.

Nothing like this has ever happened to me.

The way I have handled it when guys start "talking guy stuff" in mixed company is I simply say, then and there, IMMEDIATELY. "I'm sorry, but these comments are not appreciated. Please keep in mind that you're in the presence of mixed company and that I am your coworker. Out of respect for me, and the rest of your coworkers here present, don't ever say something like that again."

Then change the subject and continue the (new subject) conversation as if nothing had happened.

After that very first warning, said in a very serious way, nothing ever happens again.

Do not go to HR. A friend of mine (woman) working with male Engineers had a similar problem (in this case it was simply a comment about how nice she looked that day) and went to HR to handle it. She had to quit her job a couple of months later, after the guys found out, and increased their teasing/harassing--this time to really nasty stuff-- as a result.

HR is never on the side of the employees, but on the side of the company, their jobs are to ensure that the company doesn't get sued, therefore, they will not "solve the harrassment problem" as much as "get rid of the parties causing the problem". Most of the time, the easiest party to "get rid of" is the complainer.

Tell your girlfriend to not treat her male, older coworkers as friends. If she treats them as coworkers, respects and addresses them as coworkers (none of this "playful" taking their money or any of that silliness!), then she can expect them to treat her the same.

And when they act like little boys with sexist or harassing comments, she should put them in her place like a responsible adult. No hitting/punching, no crying, no "running to the manager", slapping, etc. Just say, loud and clear: "What you did is unacceptable. Don't you EVER do it again."

But making the point clear that you're absolutely serious and not joking is paramount. There should be no smiling, no laughing, no "sweetness" when she says this.

Good luck!


Partner epoch
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Sep 16, 2008, 8:18 AM
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blueshrimp wrote:
Hmm...I'm an engineer that works with only guys.

Nothing like this has ever happened to me.

The way I have handled it when guys start "talking guy stuff" in mixed company is I simply say, then and there, IMMEDIATELY. "I'm sorry, but these comments are not appreciated. Please keep in mind that you're in the presence of mixed company and that I am your coworker. Out of respect for me, and the rest of your coworkers here present, don't ever say something like that again."

Then change the subject and continue the (new subject) conversation as if nothing had happened.

After that very first warning, said in a very serious way, nothing ever happens again.

Do not go to HR. A friend of mine (woman) working with male Engineers had a similar problem (in this case it was simply a comment about how nice she looked that day) and went to HR to handle it. She had to quit her job a couple of months later, after the guys found out, and increased their teasing/harassing--this time to really nasty stuff-- as a result.

HR is never on the side of the employees, but on the side of the company, their jobs are to ensure that the company doesn't get sued, therefore, they will not "solve the harrassment problem" as much as "get rid of the parties causing the problem". Most of the time, the easiest party to "get rid of" is the complainer.

Tell your girlfriend to not treat her male, older coworkers as friends. If she treats them as coworkers, respects and addresses them as coworkers (none of this "playful" taking their money or any of that silliness!), then she can expect them to treat her the same.

And when they act like little boys with sexist or harassing comments, she should put them in her place like a responsible adult. No hitting/punching, no crying, no "running to the manager", slapping, etc. Just say, loud and clear: "What you did is unacceptable. Don't you EVER do it again."

But making the point clear that you're absolutely serious and not joking is paramount. There should be no smiling, no laughing, no "sweetness" when she says this.

Good luck!

That's unacceptable by any HR standard. In reality HR is for the employee. If what you say is true, then your friend failed to follow through - not a wrongdoing on her behalf - and was unaware that retaliation of ANY form against a person for lodging a complaint is illegal and sounds like harassment. Sadly, much of the HR, employer, and employee wrongdoings go unreported. Had your friend contacted the EEOC and lodged a complaint I am almost certain that things would have turned out differently.

A person should not feel that by going to HR they are exposing themselves to further ridicule, harassment, and retaliation. That is a failure of the HR department and the executive chain of command for the organization.


Partner macherry


Sep 16, 2008, 8:43 AM
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Re: [blueshrimp] dealing with guys who cross the line at work [In reply to]
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blueshrimp wrote:
And when they act like little boys with sexist or harassing comments, she should put them in her place like a responsible adult. No hitting/punching, no crying, no "running to the manager", slapping, etc. Just say, loud and clear: "What you did is unacceptable. Don't you EVER do it again."

But making the point clear that you're absolutely serious and not joking is paramount. There should be no smiling, no laughing, no "sweetness" when she says this.

Good luck!

i agree that there are better ways of handling sexual harassment. punching or hitting might give the wrong message to the harasser. fresh has stated that the woman being harassed considered the harasser to be like an annoying little brother. he probably considered the punch to be just another taunt. obviously it didn't stop him from ass grabbing again. I wold not accept his apology, but i would take it to HR. YOu have to name names when bringing up a case, if you want the harassment to stop.

after the last incident in the bar i would set boundaries when it comes to socializing with co-workers.

this ass didn't get the message the first time.............he's probably not gooing to get it.


talia


Sep 16, 2008, 9:25 AM
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Re: [blueshrimp] dealing with guys who cross the line at work [In reply to]
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so you're saying that if a guy that you work with came up to you and grabbed your ass...i'm not talking gently glancing it...but full palm to cheek cuppage action you wouldn't turn around and smack him across the face?


Partner blonde_loves_bolts


Sep 16, 2008, 10:31 AM
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talia wrote:
so you're saying that if a guy that you work with came up to you and grabbed your ass...i'm not talking gently glancing it...but full palm to cheek cuppage action you wouldn't turn around and smack him across the face?

I'm leaving my current job in two weeks as of this morning.

My office environment isn't so much hostile as it is antiquated. It's been a male-attorney, female-assistant setup for over 50 years. Some of the attorneys have BEEN HERE for 50 years.

My boss had a habit of putting his arm around my shoulder when I started and calling me things like "Dear," "Sweetie," etc., when I had just started. The first time I wore a skirt to work he got googlie-eyed. That was the last time I wore a skirt to work here.

Having worked for a law firm in the past that specialized in sexual harassment cases, I called him on everything that made me uncomfortable. I came to the conclusion that he was more a bumbling dumbass than a sexual predator. But if you're uncomfortable, you're uncomfortable, and it's not your responsibility to accommodate the behavior that's making you uncomfortable.

Two weeks after the last time I told him not to lean over me at the computer or put his arm around me, he did just that, and without thinking, I whacked my elbow back so he kind of flew back from me. I didn't even think; it was that instantaneous.

Point being, turning around and hitting a guy because he says something offensive a conscious (and inappropriate) reaction. But when somebody is physically making contact with you, I have no problem with my right to end that contact. My boss just touched my shoulder. Had he put his hand on my ass, I would have felt perfectly justified in handing him his.


kyote321


Sep 16, 2008, 10:57 AM
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Re: [fresh] dealing with guys who cross the line at work [In reply to]
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unfortunately, hitting someone is largely regarded as responding in kind. if your are assaulted, sexually or otherwise, asking them to stop and walking away is the best thing to do because you retain the moral high ground.

not to say that i would walk away, but a woman hitting a man isn't necessarily going to stop the man - especially if he is aggressive. he may see the contact as a challenge and take it to another level later, with less forewarning.

i'd say that since she already retaliated twice, not to contact HR, but get a taser, mace, or a .22 with birdshot. then he'll think twice before taking it farther.


Partner blonde_loves_bolts


Sep 16, 2008, 11:30 AM
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kyote321 wrote:
unfortunately, hitting someone is largely regarded as responding in kind. if your are assaulted, sexually or otherwise, asking them to stop and walking away is the best thing to do because you retain the moral high ground.

not to say that i would walk away, but a woman hitting a man isn't necessarily going to stop the man - especially if he is aggressive. he may see the contact as a challenge and take it to another level later, with less forewarning.

i'd say that since she already retaliated twice, not to contact HR, but get a taser, mace, or a .22 with birdshot. then he'll think twice before taking it farther.

It's not just the act of hitting or not hitting but everything that accompanies it. If my office had an HR department after I elbowed my boss, I would have taken it straight to them and spelled out exactly what happened, name(s) and all. Hitting in order to AVOID HR involvement would send a completely different message, as some have mentioned.

I think the best standard course of action for every person, male or female, in a male-dominated environment or otherwise, to just be very cut and dry when you start a job. It's always easier to back off firmly drawn lines than to be forced to work backward because some asshole (male or female) doesn't understand the concept of boundaries.


kyote321


Sep 16, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Hitting in order to AVOID HR involvement would send a completely different message, as some have mentioned.

fair enough. from what i remember of my mandatory sexual harassment training, the burden of proof lies with the assaulter.


(This post was edited by kyote321 on Sep 16, 2008, 12:26 PM)

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