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  1. #1

    Angry Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    A co-worker in a California government office has been accused of sexual harassment. He gets Victoria Secret magazines in the mail which he does not want. He was giving them to a female co-worker who wanted them. One day she was not there and he offered them to another woman in the office. She filed a claim of sexual harassment. Now he cannot leave his office pending an investigation.

    This is the most outrageous abuse of sexual harassment law. It trivialized victims who really are being abused at work, creates a hostile work environment for the men in the office and is probably illegal as well. I am so sick of this idiocy I think men should start fighting back. There's no reason we should have to take this crap.

    Anyway:

    1. Is it legal for them to make him stay in his office until they investigate?

    2. If they fire or punish him over this can he sue?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    1. Yes

    2. Anyone can sue anyone over pretty much anything. Your chances of winning, however, are nil.

    I understand your point about the relative nature about abuse, but think of it this way.

    If your teenage daughter had been given a Victoria's Secret catalog by a coworker with the words "I think you might want this", would you question the motives of that coworker?

    Handing out underwear catalogs at work is not a practice in which intelligent people would participate.

    By the way, the employer does not have to go to the effort or expense of a formal investigation or inquiry to determine your friend's true motives. The simple act of handing out pictures of women in their underwear is enough for most employers to act.

    Lastly, the term Hostile Environment has a specific meaning under labor law. If anything, your friend created the hostile environment... not the other way around.

    I give your friend a 20% chance of keeping his job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    One small correction. In rereading your post, I see that you are talking of a government office.

    There maybe a CBA in place that MAY require an investigation. Having said that, your friend's chances of retaining employment jump to 25%.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    Well fine. I am so tired of having to walk on eggshells around women. They can just say anything and get you fired for no reason at all. I can't do anything about any of it at work but I can join political groups and try to get some sanity toward men in the work place and the courtroom.

    If someone handed my daughter a Victoria Secret magazine at work I would not be thinking she was sexually harassed. Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances. This guy is not trying to get into anyone's pants, he just doesn't want the damn magazines. He has worked here for 7 years and done a great job; never been accused of anything.

    Why can't a woman show some backbone and simply say she doesn't want them?

    Why do men have to fear for their jobs because any woman can accuse them of sexual harassment any time they want and get you fired?

    It doesn't matter how well you perform or how long you've worked. All you have to do is piss of a woman and you're gone.

    Why don't more men grow a pair and stop cow-towing to men-hating lesbian feminists?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    Quote Quoting mooreted2000
    View Post
    Well fine. I am so tired of having to walk on eggshells around women. They can just say anything and get you fired for no reason at all. I can't do anything about any of it at work but I can join political groups and try to get some sanity toward men in the work place and the courtroom.

    If someone handed my daughter a Victoria Secret magazine at work I would not be thinking she was sexually harassed. Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances. This guy is not trying to get into anyone's pants, he just doesn't want the damn magazines. He has worked here for 7 years and done a great job; never been accused of anything.

    Why can't a woman show some backbone and simply say she doesn't want them?

    Why do men have to fear for their jobs because any woman can accuse them of sexual harassment any time they want and get you fired?

    It doesn't matter how well you perform or how long you've worked. All you have to do is piss of a woman and you're gone.

    Why don't more men grow a pair and stop cow-towing to men-hating lesbian feminists?
    Actually, most of us feel that part and parcel of our manhood is to protect those around us... especially those that may be unable to protect themselves.

    If it means that your friend has to throw away underwear catalogs rather than give them to the (very pretty, I bet) coworker, than so be it.

    Before you accuse me of it, I am about as conservative politically as it gets. I am, by no means, a bleeding heart liberal on most topics. However, as a person that has managed people for years, I would have fired your friend the moment the complaint was made.

    Stupidity may not be illegal, but it is actionable. If he has to be told by upper management that it is not appropriate to distribute underwear catalogs at work, he doesn't have the common sense I expect in a subordinate.

  6. #6
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    I agree and last time I saw description of sexaul harassment it included images (that some might deem offensive) displayed where others could see them. You made sure they saw them by handing the magazine to them. By the way if you handed either my daughters said magazine you biggest worry would be me not your employer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    I am so tired of having to walk on eggshells around women. They can just say anything and get you fired for no reason at all.
    So realizing that handing out lingerie catalogues to women in the office is a bad idea is having to "walk on eggshells"?

    Do the catalogues come to the office? If so, that's a problem in and of itself. If they come to your home and you bring them to the office, you have shown incredibly poor judgment. Your refusal to acknowledge that there is anything inappropriate in the situation is further evidence that, as they say, you just don't get it. Give the employer plenty of that attitude during the investigation if you really want to get fired.

    As with many situations described in posts on forums like these, I suspect there is much more to the story from the point of view of the co-worker who made the complaint.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Alabama
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    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    Just to throw in my two cents, I don't know anything about the legal side of this issue, but as a woman I want to say that I do believe this co-worker made a poor judgment call by bringing these catalogs to the work place, BUT I also have to say that in some ways I agree with you that the sexual harassment thing has gotten a bit out of hand. If there was a TV in your office and a Victoria's Secret commercial happened to come on while a woman was in the office, would that be sexual harassment?

    I know they're two different issues in that your co-worker willingly brought this material to work, but I guess I don't understand some women, because seeing a Victoria's Secret catalog is nothing compared to some of the trash and near nudity that we see on regular television all day long.

    Sorry I know this doesn't really qualify as information or suggestions pertaining to the legal questions you asked, but I just wanted to weigh in.

  9. #9
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    There can be arguement that the desription and sexual harassment laws need fien tuning. However this does meet the desription of sexual harrassment and as often as its reported in various forms of media one should know this. Even our Tv shows use this as means to entertain us through sitcoms, Dramas etc. I really doubt OP did not know this was wrong or could be. That arguement means nothing fact is he did it and its wrong. He now needs to deal with the consequences of his bad choices and move forward. Since TVs are often not part of any daily work in most cases I don't see where this applies. Even if it did unless the TV was tuned to a provactive show its out of the employees control what ads come on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    200

    Default Re: Outrageous Sexual Harassment Claim

    I seriously doubt that a Victoria's Secret catalog is sexually offensive by the reasonable person standard required under Title VII. And, offering the catalog once isn't sufficient to meet the pervasive or egregious requirement necessary for a sexually hostile work environment. Nonetheless, an employer is required by Title VII to conduct an inquiry into a report of sexual harassment.

    That said, employers can prohibit behavior that doesn't rise to the legal standard for sexual harassment. However, if he works for the state of California, he may be covered by its civil service rules and if so, would not be an at will employee.

    I'm sure that state government has a harassment policy. Your friend should check the policy to see what his employer considers to be sexual harassment and how its handles sexual harassment complaints.

    Sexual harassment is not simply a woman's problem. EEOC reports that 15% of sexual harassment charges are filed by men.

    I suspect that the average teen age girl would gladly accept the VS catalog and think nothing about it. VS is very popular with teen age girls. Besides, have you taken a look at the pictures these kids post of themselves on myspace.com and other such sites?

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