Social Question

haleyray07's avatar

Is it sexual harassment for my boss at work to call me Sexy?

Asked by haleyray07 (225 points ) September 2nd, 2011

My boss is a heavy drinker and he called me into his office and shut the door and went on a rant about his current divorce then told me I was beautiful and sexy…is this harassment?

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48 Answers

GladysMensch's avatar

Yes. Yes it is.

ucme's avatar

Well it’s only harassment if indeed you feel harassed. Regardless, he sounds like a creepy fucker!

tinyfaery's avatar

It really depends on the state you live in. In CA it is definitely sexual harassment. Sometimes laws are somewhat excessive, though. Did you feel upset, threatened or icky in any way? If not, think to yourself wether or not you felt harassed. If you did, talk to your HR dept. If not, let it go.

chyna's avatar

Was he drinking then? What a creeper. It sounds like a pathetic man tryiing to still think he is attractive to someone. If you aren’t set on this job for life, I’d look for a new one. It probably is sexual harrasement.

thebluewaffle's avatar

Well, are you sexy?

Maybe post a picture up?

beccagolling's avatar

God that is so damn creepy! But to me is does indeed sound like sexual haeassment.

FutureMemory's avatar

Hugely inappropriate at the very least.

I like tiny’s answer – did you feel harassed?

haleyray07's avatar

he is very intimidating

dappled_leaves's avatar

Yes, it is sexual harrassment. You should make him aware that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Seelix's avatar

It’s sexual harassment if it makes you uncomfortable and is at all sexual in nature.

tinyfaery's avatar

One thing I do know is if he is being skeezy and you do nothing he will do it again. Personally, I wouldn’t let it go.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’d say it was sexual harrassement and at the very least document exactly what happened and the time and date. Was he drinking at the time?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would say soooooooooooooooooo…..

haleyray07's avatar

yep…he had a beer on his desk and was drinking it in front of me, but he owns the business…is this still wrong?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If he owns the business it’s his call, but drinking during business hours is not a good sign. The other thing I wonder about is if he’ll even remember doing some of this. This is a scary situation.

Cruiser's avatar

Yep…big time. Plus shutting the door exposes him to all sorts of trouble. Your word against his. You could bring all sorts of grief his way. Up to you.

chyna's avatar

It’s bad business to drink at work, even if you own the business. I’d leave it alone and find a new job asap. If you report him, he could get the word out that you file false reports, hit on him, etc. Best to just leave.

haleyray07's avatar

yeah, it happened yesterday and I feel like he doesn’t even remember it happening today…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It’s harrassment and it’s just plain creepy.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Are you able to walk now or do you need the paycheck?

dappled_leaves's avatar

It is absolutely not his call just because he owns the business. Sexual harrassment is against the law, and you have a right not to be made to feel that way at your workplace.

The problem with his owning the business is that you probably don’t have any support at your workplace. That will make your decisions harder, but it does not change your rights.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@dappled_leaves I meant the drinking was his call.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I see – I thought you were addressing the OP’s question “is this still wrong”, which I presumed meant the harrassment.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@dappled_leaves No problem. I didn’t make that clear. The harrassment just sucks.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, it is.

poisonedantidote's avatar

No it is not, if you tell him no and to stop and he continues, then it is. People need to get laid some how, there is no harm in trying.

EDIT: Harassment is by definition repetitive and persistent, you cant harass someone with a one off.

marinelife's avatar

@poisonedantidote You are incorrect. It is sexual harassment for a supervisor to call an employee sexy, to talk to her behind closed doors about his divorce and complain about his wife.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@marinelife Why am I incorrect?

Harassment is by definition a thing that keeps happening, for a one off sexual advance to be illegal it would need to be sexual assault, not harassment, and there was no assault.

Against company policy? maybe… a bad work ethic? kind of… sexual harassment? nop.

chyna's avatar

@poisonedantidote That is not true. If someone grabs my boob one time that is sexual harassment. I don’t have to wait for them to do it twice or three times before I report it and the person is arrested for sexual harassment.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@chyna sexual assault, not harassment. There was unwanted physical contact.

This boss is obviously just a desperate guy, you give him a warning and let him off, if he does it again, then it is harassment.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@poisonedantidote He’s the boss, so he controls her paycheck. He’s been drinking, and he had her come into his office and he shut the door. Then he makes inappropriate remarks. To me, that’s harrassment.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe He is the boss, he controls her paycheck, and did not say “blow me if you want to get paid” we cant assume the threat just because. His drinking is totally irrelevant, a bank robery is a bank robery regardless of how drunk the guy with a gun was, it in no way adds weight to the charge of harassment. As for closed doors, ever wait to get someone alone before you tell them how you feel? it is not that unusual. As for the remarks being inapropriate, yes, there is no getting round that, but it would still depend how he said it.

What I’m reading here is “My boss called me in to his office and made a drunken depressed mess of him self before he totally humiliated him self”. Give the poor guy a break, a warning, and if he does it again, then I agree it is harassment.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@poisonedantidote That’s ok, we just have different definitions of what it is.

chyna's avatar

Sexual harassment may include but are not limited to:

•unwanted sexual advances
•unwanted sexual gestures
•verbal harassment
•obscene comments
•unwelcome touching
source

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Would it have been better if he closed the door and mentioned he thought you were homely and unattractive?

chyna's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central It would have been better if he hadn’t been drinking and left her alone.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@chyna Yes, it would have been. Many Americans have been conditioned to believe they can’t handle things or have any fun unless inebriated somehow. It would be better all around if everone remained sober.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@chyna… then the source is wrong :P and the person who typed it does not know how to use words.

“unwanted” ... what a shitstorm of a term, that one word would leave it open to interpretation that any and all sexual advances are harassment, and then you have “sexual advances”... where is the line on that one?

What if he buys her a teddy bear as a gift, and she assumes that is a sexual advance as he is trying to be romantic, and as it is unwanted, the guy is now out of a job.

I don’t know what the official papers say, but I know what they should say.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Scenario 1:

- Hey bitch, I hear you like to gag on nutbags, wanna come back to mine and get smurfed later?
– Sure sounds great!

…100% ok.

Scenario 2:

- You know, you have real pretty eyes.
– Creep!

… Sexual harassment

EDIT:

It would seem to me, that the law kind of implies that only a slut would go out with someone from work, because any advances towards a co-worker is sexual harassment, and as someone who dates someone from work, you are ok being harassed.

marinelife's avatar

@poisonedantidote Sexual harassment in the workplace has a legal definition. It is not a matter of interpretation. Just so there can not be excuses like you have used.

“The legal definition of sexual harassment is “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.”

Source

It says nothing about having to have happened multiple times.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@marinelife The law is composed of words, and the word harassment by definition includes the need for multiple offences, otherwise why even use the word harassment.

going gym, back later.

nikipedia's avatar

@poisonedantidote, I think you do not live in the US, correct? Maybe the laws are different there, but here sexual harassment is clearly defined and taken extremely seriously.

From wikipedia:
In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission produced a set of guidelines for defining and enforcing Title VII (in 1984 it was expanded to include educational institutions). The EEOC defines sexual harassment as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. Submission to such conduct was made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment,
2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual was used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
...
Type 3. known as “hostile work environment,” is by far the most common form. This form is less clear cut and is more subjective.[6]

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It depends upon how sexual harassment is defined in your country. Where do you live? If you are in the US, here is how it is described by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer. Source

While what your boss did would make me feel uncomfortable as well. If we go by the above guidelines, it sounds like calling an employee beautiful and sexy wouldn’t be much of a case. From the harassment training we were all required to attend each year at work, which had educated human resources and legal teams, the best thing to do in your situation is to confront the person, boss or not, about what they said. It would help if you had a witness present. People, even bosses, make mistakes.

If you allow him the chance to apologize for his behavior, it sets the scene for the repercussions if it happens again. If he denies it, simply state that it felt like sexual harassment, and that should stop him from ever doing it again. In the future, do not enter enter his office and allow him to close the door. If you respect this guy on any level, give him a second chance. If not, it’s time to start looking for another job for more reasons than the feeling of being sexually harassed.

marinelife's avatar

@poisonedantidote The legal definition is the one that matters here not the general definition of the word harassment.

Ayesha's avatar

Keep your distance and stay vigilant.
And i think it might lead to sexual harassment. Please be careful.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I’m not disputing that the law calls it sexual harassment, and yes I don’t live in the US, but I don’t know what the laws say here either.

All I’m saying, is the laws are wrong, poorly worded, and should be thrown out and remade, because you cant harass someone by doing something once, the wording of the law is as stupid as when certain websites ban you for ever and call it “suspended”.

mrrich724's avatar

Any unwelcome advance can be considered harassment. If you weren’t harassed by it, it may not have been, if it bothered you, then yes it was.

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