Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Submited by a friend of mine
A casual day at work turns into me feeling uncomfortable, and scared to leave my desk. A gentleman I work with had enough balls to tell me that he had a sexual dream about me… “my back against the wall, with my legs wrapped around his waist.”
If my facial expression could talk, it would have sounded like a tea pot whistling as the pressure built inside of me as to how I would deal with knowing that a co-worker was having sexual dreams about me. As I went into a shock, I let my unamused facial expression be the cue for him to leave my personal space.
If I reported it, he would have been fired for sure.
But I was cool about it….
What would you have done in her situation? Has this or something similar happened in your workplace?
What would allow someone the level of comfort (or unmitigated gall) to share something so inappropriate in the work place? Often we get a little friendly with folks, share inappropriate jokes, etc. until one oerson goes a littlet far (usually not as far as sharing this type of dream) and then there is an awkwardness. If this is someone with whom you’ve had a friendlier relationship outside of the office then express your discomfort directly to them.
Otherwise… where is the HR office? That is so so so inappropriate that I can hardly imagine the look on my face had one of my co-workers even considering forming their lips to sayit.
AT LEAST make it known to the person that said it that this is not something you ever want to hear about again – AT LEAST. If not, this simply allows them to come back with worse (and will weaken your case should you happen to complain at that point).
Me? Like I said… HR is where?
The friend that told me this story wasn’t even sure that it was sexual harassment. Where is the line?
I was so unnerved by that I didn’t respond to the second part.
Yes this has happened before but when I was much younger and so was the perpetrator. He not only would say those type of things but would try to hug/kiss me. Since I worked in the kitchen at the time and regularly had knives and hot pans near me he didn’t get close very often or at least would back up if I threatened him loudly. I was in a different mindset then and once, after one of his more explicit remarks , I had another co-worker whoop his ass immediately after I cursed his behind out. Other than that particular incident, the others were more subtle (or sometimes hearsay) and less provable.
hostile environment is sufficient
Does the company not have a policy?
Directly from the EEOC website:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
* The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
* The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
* The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
* Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
* The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.