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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Sexual Harassment

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: IA

    What if an alleged harasser is unaware that the acts he/she committed bothered another person?

    I stared at someone's chest once in a public setting during a trip, and was unaware for the remainder of that trip the individual was covering their top because they thought I was looking.

    I also apparently masturbated in public, which others saw. I wasn't even aware I was doing this, (I think my hands were just resting down there).

    I have a condition that makes it difficult for me to identify social cues, which may help explain why I was unaware I was doing these things.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Sexual Harassment

    Do you have a sexual harassment complaint against you that is being investigated?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,334

    Default Re: Sexual Harassment

    What if an alleged harasser is unaware that the acts he/she committed bothered another person?

    It doesn't make any difference. They can still be found guilty of harassment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment occurs when one employee makes continued, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, to another employee, against his or her wishes.

    "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."

    -Simply looking at another individual is NOT enough to support a sexual harrasment complaint. The worker may tell the person, or a supervisor that your looks have made her uncomfortanble. Once she has made that known, then if it continues you could be in violation of sexual harrasment laws. The key phrase that the lawmakers have put into act is the "unwelcomed" part. The offender must have knowledge that the act is unwelcomed. That prevents the situation where an employee can file sexual harrasment complaints because "he looked at me wierd". If you feel that any of your actions may be mistaken by your co-workers you need to let your supervisor know of your condition and possible let your co-workers know also. It may be embarrassing, but it may also save you in the long run and they may be able to help you work through the issues. Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,334

    Default Re: Sexual Harassment

    Simply looking at an individual ONE TIME is not enough to support a claim of sexual harassment, true.

    But doing so multiple times can. From what the poster says, it sounds as if there have been multiple incidents.

    Besides, the question was not, Did I commit any form of harassment. The question was, does it matter if I was not aware that I was bothering someone. The answer to that question is no, they are not automatically immune by virtue of a claim that they didn't know they were bothering someone. If that were a valid defense, all anyone would have to say is, oh, I didn't know I was bothering you, and the claim would magically go away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Sexual Harassment

    I do agree with cbg that you can be found guilty of sexual harassment whether you were aware/realized what you were doing was sexual harassment or not.

    We really don't have enough info from poster to comment further on his particular situation.

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