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  1. #1
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    Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    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. Source: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-sex.html

    For the first time in his 25 years of employment, a female employee has made a verbal allegation of sexual harassment against a male friend of mine. "John" was notified of this by his immediate supervisor via an email. The email did not indicate an incident or complaint but rather was framed in the context of "feedback" advising John to be carefull when it comes to dealing with female employees. It went on to say that comments, compliments, innuendos, flirting, wandering eyes, etc. can be misperceived and possibly jeapordize his job. Needless to say, John was absolutely astounded. He immediately approached his supervisor and demanded clarification. The supervisor indicated that a female employee had verbalized the allegation. He then clarified his position on the matter by stating that he has never witnessed any such behavior by John nor believes any incident occurred. What bothers John however, is why was the email sent in the first place? Does it constitute some form of written warning? The employee handbook states that standard operating procedure requires a verbal warning first and then written warning followed by a final written warning and then termination. Were John's civil rights violated?

    The work environment today in the United States is becoming more and more polarized. Women are flagrantly disregarding company dress codes in order to flaunt there sexuality. It was interesting to discover how narrowly defined sexual harassment has become. A clause in the code mentions "visual harassment"; defined as any display that promotes the sexuality of what is depicted, or draws attention to the private parts of the body, even if there is partial clothing. Consequently, men are flagrantly disregarding verbal and visual inhibitions as they react to the sexual stimulus. The question that remains however, is which side constitutes criminality? Is it the sexual provocation or is it the sexual reaction? Do wandering male eyes encourage women to dress more provocatively or does female attire encourage wandering male eyes? Does a loose verbal atmosphere in the work place exacerbate the problem? Would clamping down constitute a violation of freedom of speech? What about the constant bombardment of sexual messages facilitated through various media? The 1960's ushered in the sexual revolution. Perhaps it is time for the counter revolution.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOEBIALEK
    The 1960's ushered in the sexual revolution. Perhaps it is time for the counter revolution.
    Wouldn't overly-restrictive sexual harrassment laws be the counter-revolution?
    Its turtles, all the way down.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOBIALEK
    The question that remains however, is which side constitutes criminality? Is it the sexual provocation or is it the sexual reaction?
    The sexual reaction. There is no law against one's choices of attire; if it's against company policy, then that's something for management to deal with. There are laws against acting on urges. There is also a tiny factor called personal accountability.

    I agree, sometimes sexual harrassment laws seem screwy and overboard. Well, that's political correctness for you. It applies to many other areas of the law as well.

    With regards to your friend's situation you've described, I would think the e-mail constitutes the verbal warning. Not only would it be simply to maintain company policy, but also because you said it was more of a heads-up than an actual warning. I believe written warnings for something like this (or any company policy for that matter) are usually written on something official, rather than e-mail.

    Now, I have one more question: You referred to the accuser as a "female employee" while referring to the 'defendant' as a friend of yours. Is it possible that you feel the way you do about this situation simply because your friend is involved on the not-so-positive end? Would your opinion change is the accuser were your friend instead?
    Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.--Voltaire

  4. #4
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    "Hey Tanya! Nice skirt, I love it!"

    "Oh so do I Jon, isn't it the best? By the way, I'll see you in court tomorrow."

    "Huh?"
    We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?

  5. #5
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    Sexual harassment situations can range from the obvious to the rediculous. It is for courts to make sensible judgements objectively and demand fair tariffs as necessary. If women are not careful they may end up with just what most of them don't want - an emasculated nervous and confused male population who feel that the only safe and acceptable way to be and act as female.

    ps. There was a recent case in the UK of a female member of staff in a certain company who sported her 'equipment' to a fair degree, being awarded 1000,000 damages when her boss commented, 'You have nice breasts'.

    If someone said to me that I had a nice 'lower six pack', I would smile and suggest they visit an optician/optometrist asap.
    Last edited by FruitandNut; July 25th, 2004 at 03:35 PM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut
    Sexual harassment situations can range from the obvious to the rediculous. It is for courts to make sensible judgements objectively and demand fair tariffs as necessary. If women are not careful they may end up with just what most of them don't want - an emasculated nervous and confused male population who feel that the only safe and acceptable way to be and act is female.
    That's what a lot of women want and they aren't afraid to say it directly. We're going to be needing a male revolution after the female one is done :neut:
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrs_innocent
    The sexual reaction. There is no law against one's choices of attire; if it's against company policy, then that's something for management to deal with.
    I don't agree that it is always the reaction. I think the woman bears responsibility in how she presents herself. Suppose a woman is wearing a shirt that shows a little cleavage? I think if a woman dresses like that, she asking for sexual attention. It is in most dress codes that revealing clothes are a no-no. But then, suppose a woman is wearing a baggy shirt and bends over a man's desk giving him a perfect shot at her lacy bra and cleavage? Who wouldn't gauk at that? I'm a woman, and even I would look. I think that "visual harassment" is kind of ridiculous unless someone persistently has conversations with you below the chin.

    I think it is a different kind of story when we add verbal exhanges to the equation. I worked in a hospital for a couple years, and I think their rules were pretty standard. If someone made a comment that wasn't welcome, you were to confront them and ask them not to make that comment again or ask a supervisor to do so with no negative repercussions for either party. Then, if that person continued to make comments, then more serious action was taken.

    I think if a woman doesn't want to be looked at "sexually" she is responsible to make sure she doesn't portray herself as so. Then again, this isn't always easy. I'm a 36D. Blouses in my size are always slightly form-fitting in that area. If I bought shirts any bigger, they would look pretty silly on me. So, sometimes it is difficult to determine if a woman is putting herself out there to get attention, or if she just happens to have the kind of body that gets attention whether she asks for it or not. However, I think ultimately, women are responsible first and foremost for taking care in the image they portray of themselves before they cry "sexual harassment."
    Last edited by HappyLady; July 25th, 2004 at 04:06 PM.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razor-Tongue
    "Hey Tanya! Nice skirt, I love it!"

    "Oh so do I Jon, isn't it the best? By the way, I'll see you in court tomorrow."

    "Huh?"
    Actually, this is not a case of sexual harassment. It would be sexual harassment if you said, "Hey Tanya, that skirt looks good on you." (Or even more blatantly, "Hey Tanya, the way you look in that skirt makes me want to throw you down on my desk and be naughty!") In most sexual harassment orientations in workplaces, they will teach you the appropriate way to say something. It is acceptable to say, "I like your skirt." Or, "That is a nice skirt." But it is not appropriate to comment on the way it makes a person look. Compliment the object, not the person.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady
    I don't agree that it is always the reaction. I think the woman bears responsibility in how she presents herself. Suppose a woman is wearing a shirt that shows a little cleavage? I think if a woman dresses like that, she asking for sexual attention. It is in most dress codes that revealing clothes are a no-no. But then, suppose a woman is wearing a baggy shirt and bends over a man's desk giving him a perfect shot at her lacy bra and cleavage? Who wouldn't gauk at that? I'm a woman, and even I would look. I think that "visual harassment" is kind of ridiculous unless someone persistently has conversations with you belong the chin.

    I think it is a different kind of story when we add verbal exhanges to the equation. I worked in a hospital for a couple years, and I think their rules were pretty standard. If someone made a comment that wasn't welcome, you were to confront them and ask them not to make that comment again or ask a supervisor to do so with no negative repercussions for either party. Then, if that person continued to make comments, then more serious action was taken.

    I think if a woman doesn't want to be looked at "sexually" she is responsible to make sure she doesn't portray herself as so. Then again, this isn't always easy. I'm a 36D. Blouses in my size are always slightly form-fitting in that area. If I bought shirts any bigger, they would look pretty silly on me. So, sometimes it is difficult to determine if a woman is putting herself out there to get attention, or if she just happens to have the kind of body that gets attention whether she asks for it or not. However, I think ultimately, women are responsible first and foremost for taking care in the image they portray of themselves before they cry "sexual harassment."

    Guys, a myth can also be a reality - there we have a SENSIBLE WOMAN.

    ps. HappyLady, 36D is my favourite colour!
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut
    Guys, a myth can also be a reality - there we have a SENSIBLE WOMAN.

    ps. HappyLady, 36D is my favourite colour!
    I'm alarmed at the rational confession as well. However, I have to disagree with the use of lingo. 36D is not a color
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  11. #11
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    Just being legally slippery, Fishy. Thank God for euphemisms.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  12. #12
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    You pervert you.
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  13. #13
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    Civilisation is but a thin veneer in the case of most of us. After all our closest relatives are chimps, and look what they get up to when they get bored.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut
    Guys, a myth can also be a reality - there we have a SENSIBLE WOMAN.

    ps. HappyLady, 36D is my favourite colour!
    Yes, I own a lot of "nice shirts."
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

  15. #15
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    Re: Sexual Harassment

    I have to agree that the application of the sexual harrassment laws has, in some cases, gone way too far. That does not mean that they should be repealed. They were first put into place as a result of egregious abuse and are still, in my view, necessary. One of the first cases involved a bank president's secretary who was rather blatantly told that if she wanted to keep her job, she was expected to 'entertain' clients, as well as 'perform' for the bank president. At the time, this situation was thought to be perfectly normal, simply a personality quirk of the bank president, and that if she didn't like it, she should simply find another job. I don't think anyone wants to go back to allowing situations like that! However, in a misguided attempt to ensure that women have a safe workplace, the law has been stretched to include as 'harrassment' actions and statements that are part of normal discourse between the sexes.

    One of the problems with harrassment law is that the standards are vague and subjective. What one woman sees as harrassment, another sees as normal, everyday discussion. Throw in the miscommunications common between the sexes, add miscommunication between generations and cultures, and you can see how easily an offhand comment can become the subject of legal action. Also, some corporations have become overly cautious about the subject, leading them to set company policies that go far beyond what the law requires. Another problem is that some (thankfully few, but some) women will abuse the law to get back at supervisors or co-workers for real or imagined insults, slights, or lack of promotion, or whatever.

    The best defense against sexual harrassment is really simple. If/when a co-worker does or says something that one finds objectionable, object to it! Immediately, politely, verbally, in front of witnesses if possible, say what you found objectionable, and why. Example: "Mr. Jones, when you patted my bottom as I left the room, I felt insulted and demeaned. Please, do not do that again." Then, immediately write up a memo about the incident. Documentation is very important, it shows when incidents occur, and how often they occur. If simply stating your objection doesn't work, then you should report to your supervisor, or HR dept.

    Defending oneself against accusations of harrassment is a bit harder, but uses the same principles. First, try to treat all co-workers fairly and equally. If anyone tells you that they found a statement or action objectionable, apologize verbally, then follow up with a written apology, keeping a copy for your records. Example: Dear Ms. Smith, I am so sorry that you were offended when I patted your bottom. I honestly meant no insult. I had spent the whole weekend watching football with my friends, and in my enthusiasm for your success with the Simpson account, I congratulated you in a manner more in keeping with sports than with business."

    As for Joebialek's friend, I think he should ask that his supervisor or HR person set up a meeting with his accuser, himself, and a neutral third party. Since neither he nor his supervisor are clear about what behaviour prompted the complaint, the accuser should be given an opportunity to explain her position. It is simply impossible for him to 'stop his harrassing behavior' when he has no clue as to what that behavior is! Since it is inadvertant, it is more than likely that a meeting will clarify the situation to the mutual satisfaction of all.

    A certain degree of sexual tension between men and women is normal and largely unavoidable. We are mammals, and cannot help but notice that certain members of the opposite sex are sexually attractive to us. This goes for both men and women, by the way. However, as supposedly civilized adults, we can and should be able to control our actions. Women who abuse the sexual harrassment laws to include every possible sexual nuance run the risk of creating an impossible standard of conduct, one that resembles the old Victorian standards under which women wound up being excluded from adult conversation in order to 'protect' them from exposure to the harsh, masculine world. We certainly don't want to go there again!

  16. #16
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    Re: Sexual Harassment

    Oh the holy dress code. Something that a business or school usually uses to restrict scantily clad women, or men too. Usually at my school I see 90% of the girls running around in these little short shorts, or shirts that barely cover their breasts. Nothing is done by Teachers because they feel "ackward" telling the person to cover their nipple. As soon as any student's wandering eye makes its way to the sight, the individual will run to the Person of highest stature to complain about sexual harassment. This is ridiculous! It is like wearing a bright neon jumpsuit. If you wear this filth get used to the eyes that may see, you are basically an open invitation for viewing. There is a difference between Sexual Harassment and Individuals who choose to dress raunchy and cry sexual harassment. On with the Counter Revolution!!

  17. #17
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    Re: Sexual Harassment

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyLady
    Actually, this is not a case of sexual harassment. It would be sexual harassment if you said, "Hey Tanya, that skirt looks good on you." (Or even more blatantly, "Hey Tanya, the way you look in that skirt makes me want to throw you down on my desk and be naughty!") In most sexual harassment orientations in workplaces, they will teach you the appropriate way to say something. It is acceptable to say, "I like your skirt." Or, "That is a nice skirt." But it is not appropriate to comment on the way it makes a person look. Compliment the object, not the person.
    You can't compliment a person's looks?!

    What kind of society are we living in if we can't even express sincere admiration or appreciation for another fellow human being (with no sexual intent of course) without being charged for sexual harassment!

  18. #18
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    Re: Sexual Harassment

    Unless you feel you really know that person and any likely reaction - best keep to business and the weather!
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  19. #19
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    Re: Sexual Harassment

    I want to apologize for overlooking this topic. I'll start from the beginning to get a better picture and get back to you later. This really is a touchy topic and a matter of taste - a "male revolution" as fyshed suggested might be a little extreme. Why can't we all just get along?

    HL says: It would be sexual harassment if you said, "Hey Tanya, that skirt looks good on you" -- ok, maybe, but if a compliment is coming from natural hormonal urges, why conceal them ALL the time. As Trendem suggests - give us guys a break - ok? I know I just love it when a girl makes a suggestive comment about me

    P.S. I just noticed that this is an old topic which Barcode revived - so I didn't overlook it! That guy DeKazz made a good post and never returned after 9/27/04.
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
    Disclaimer: This information is being provided for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only.

  20. #20
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    Re: Sexual Harassment

    The real problem was the shift from the "reasonable man" standard (which applies to both sexes, just old fashioned language) to the current "unreasonable woman" standard - quite literally what the woman "feels" is now the definition of a crime or non-crime for the exact same scenario.

    P.
    "The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."
    head of MI6

    "The Emory University study proves beyond a doubt that politicians and their acolytes - are lying morons."

    "We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it."
    Justice Jackson Nov. 21, 1945, Nuremberg

 

 
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