what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

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Latest post 11-29-2012 11:22 PM by Cica. 39 replies.
  • 11-24-2012 8:40 PM In reply to

    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    cbg:
    No, it is not okay just because of foreign ownership. Their US locations are required to follow US law.

    Thank you. That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. 

    cbg:
    Practically the first thing you will be asked is what you did to try to resolve it internally. IMO, it's questionable whether "I called the ethics line" will be seen as exhausting all resources.

    Thank you for your lawyer advice.  Do you mean that although I document all interaction with the ethics line with specific details, it would not hold up if Im forced to take legal action to protect my job?  I didn't simply call the ethics line.  I gave dates.details.persons.etc.  I want to report what the person did the other day but am now scared because I dont want to lose my job.  '

  • 11-24-2012 9:40 PM In reply to

    • cbg
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    FYI I am not a lawyer. I am an HR professional

    It is illegal to fire you for reporting sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not an ethics issue - it is a legal issue. You can give the ethics line all the information you want to but it is not a substitute for a first hand report. In order to do an effective investigation HR needs to interview you and any witnesses; they cannot do that if you hide behind the ethics line. You complain that they've been ineffective before; well, maybe that's because you're tying their hands. Not to mention the fact that if the manager is bothering you and then suddenly out of the blue he's told to clean up his act, he doesn't have to be a member of Mensa to figure out who complained regardless of who you make your report to, so you may as well make it to the people who can be the most effective in assisting you.

     

  • 11-25-2012 3:38 AM In reply to

    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    cbg:
    Sexual harassment is not an ethics issue - it is a legal issue.

    Have you read my company's publication on what type of matters can be reported to the hotline?  In face, in our "sensitivity" training, calling the hotline was a specific option we were instructed to use if we didn't feel we could go to our managers.

    cbg:
    In order to do an effective investigation HR needs to interview you and any witnesses; they cannot do that if you hide behind the ethics line.

    Uh, they can interview all of the people in the manager's work area.  That would be normal.  At other companies, I've been interviewed as part of investigations about other people that were a result of a hotline report. 

    ALSO HR OR ANYONE INVESTIGATING HAS THE ABILITY TO ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS THEY WANT THROUGH THE HOTLINE.  They also have the ability to encourage me to come forward via the hotline if they are so inclined.  Apparently they are not inclined.  I can bet on what happend.  They talked to this guy and he bullshitted his way out of it.  They probably talked to his boss who poo-pooh'd it; after all, they're buddies.

    cbg:
    You complain that they've been ineffective before; well, maybe that's because you're tying their hands.

    Uh, have you asked me any questions about what I mean by their reputation of incompetence.  Just how, Mr. cbg, have I tied their hands on any matters in the past?

     

  • 11-25-2012 7:41 AM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Kate4justice:

    What do I do now?  This isn't right.  I fear his boss (my boss) may have figured out who reported it and will treat me even more unfairly.

    It sounds as though you are in a tough situation.  You may want to consider following up on your report with information on what happened since your report.  You may want to consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but you will need to be very specific about every step you took, and also please understand that once you do this, you will no longer have any anonymity.

  • 11-25-2012 7:44 AM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Kate4justice:
    I don't know if its relevent but my company is owned by a foren company.  The parent companys country is one that I believe there are no laws against sexual harrassment or discrimination - it is a corupt country.  Does that matter? 

    Even though your company is foreign-owned, the company must follow US laws for its US employees.  This is similar to foreign operations of US companies who have to follow the local statutes in countries where it operates.

  • 11-25-2012 9:19 AM In reply to

    • cbg
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Okay. Do it your way.

  • 11-25-2012 10:15 AM In reply to

    • Cica
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Your subject title and your final paragraph ask what you should do.  You counterargue every response coming up with excuses as to why the suggestions would be purposeless.

    If you're "so afraid of your boss" and insist that you won't be protected after filing complaint, then all that I can suggest is that you look for another job.

  • 11-25-2012 11:23 AM In reply to

    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Kate4justice:
    Do you mean that although I document all interaction with the ethics line with specific details, it would not hold up if Im forced to take legal action to protect my job?

    Did you read the material in DPH's links?

    It sounds to me as though it's questionable whether this rises to the level of being sexual harassment as described there.  What the "manager" did was not severe, and a few days isn't really "sustained."

    Another key point is the behavior has to continue after the victim lets the harasser know it's "unwelcome."  Making one quip about TMI may not be clear enough, both in communicating that you are serious and in making sure he knows you can hear everything he is saying even though he was apparently telling others (not you) all about his medical problem.

    If it were me, I'd quietly let this drop.  If others won't let you, then you'll have to deal with that, but it could all blow over.  More worrying is the statement from your boss that he favors men.  If there are men that do the same job you do, and you are friends with any of them, you might want to try to find out how much they are being paid and how big their raises have been compared to yours and those of any other women also doing the same job.  There are risks, especially if discussing pay is against company policy, so for you personally the best solution might be simply to find another job.  Maybe get your job offer, then ask your friends about pay?

  • 11-25-2012 1:52 PM In reply to

    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    LG81:
      You may want to consider following up on your report with information on what happened since your report. 

    Thanks LG81.  I think I will follow up with a report about him harassing me about the investigation.  You and DPH are helpful.  Everyone else just judged with no information on what to do next.

  • 11-25-2012 2:01 PM In reply to

    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    karen2222:

    It sounds to me as though it's questionable whether this rises to the level of being sexual harassment as described there.  What the "manager" did was not severe, and a few days isn't really "sustained."

    Thank for your input.  I is good to read another point of view.  I understand what you're saying, but what about when you take that combined with the retaliation?  Would that then rise to the level or is it still not enough.

    karen2222:
    If there are men that do the same job you do, and you are friends with any of them, you might want to try to find out how much they are being paid and how big their raises have been compared to yours and those of any other women also doing the same job. 

    No one does the same exact job I do or the same job as the other managers that work for my boss.  In the case of the harasser (I will still call him that because his remarks are constant), he has a title of manager but no one reports to him.  He has a manager title because his area is a specialized knowledge base.  He does make more than me.  I do have direct reports and my direct reports have direct reports.  My position and both of the layers below me are professional ones that require degrees.  Another manager (who does have one layer of direct reports that require college degrees) who reports to my boss makes more money than me.  He also has a company cell phone, whereas I have to pay for my own cell phone that I use for company business. 

  • 11-25-2012 3:39 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Kate4justice:
    Everyone else just judged with no information on what to do next.

    No one judged you and you were given several suggestions, which you choose to ignore or sidestep.  When an HR professional offers their opinion of your situation, you would be well advised to consider the source. 

    The bottom line is that no one could really determine if this person's actions rose to the level of sexual harrassment as described, but unless and until HR investigates nothing is likely to change.  If your report to this ethics line doesn't solve the problem, you have to decide whether you will turn a deaf ear to this clown and ignore it or report it to HR to make it stop.  If you follow the correct procedures and it stops, then you will have accomplished your goal.  If the person doesn't change their ways, there are further actions that can be taken beyond HR. 

    Good luck.

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 11-25-2012 3:55 PM In reply to

    • cbg
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    For the record, I have conducted many SH investigations, and I have trained employers on how to conduct them. No one was judging you but there's very little we, or your HR, can do if you refuse to discuss it with them directly. You appear to have decided how they are supposed to conduct the investigation and will not accept any answer that does not follow the lines you want to see. I can't force you to take my advice but there's only so much we can do if you insist that the only thing you're willing to do is talk to the ethics line and then sit back and wait for everything to be fixed without your having to take any risk of being identified.

  • 11-25-2012 4:47 PM In reply to

    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    DPH:
    No one judged you and you were given several suggestions, which you choose to ignore or sidestep.

    I read each and every suggestion.  The "cbg" only told me I was wrong and didn't even read my first post thoroughly.

    DPH:
    When an HR professional offers their opinion of your situation, you would be well advised to consider the source. 

    And that is EXACTLY what I'm doing.  I'm considering the source.  Cbg claims to be an HR professiona; translation = run far, far away.  This is a website for legal information, and I was hoping to get some input from attorneys.  I did not log onto an HR site.

  • 11-25-2012 4:55 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Kate4justice:
    This is a website for legal information, and I was hoping to get some input from attorneys.  I did not log onto an HR site.

    There are attorneys that particpate her on his site, but the vast majority of responders are not attorneys.  Many of the folks that responded have been in the business world for many years and have lots of experience, hence suggestions.  The rules of this site prohibit specific legal advice, so you are pretty much stuck with suggestions.  If you would like a paid legal opinion regarding this issue, make an appoitment with a local attorney and pay for it.  I suspect that the response that you would receive would be very close to what you received here.

    Kate4justice:
    Cbg claims to be an HR professiona; translation = run far, far away.

    So because cbg is in HR in some unnamed company that has no connection to you (I hope), you interpret that response as something that should be avoided?  Oh well......

     

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 11-25-2012 5:30 PM In reply to

    • Cica
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    Re: what should I do next regarding sexual harassment?

    Kate4justice:
     This is a website for legal information, and I was hoping to get some input from attorneys.  I did not log onto an HR site.

    This is not a "legal advice" forum.  It is one for suggestions. Read the Rules to which you agreed.

    As stated, you are jumping the gun by not going through HR first -- especially considering that what you've posted as your complaint is muddy at best.  If you need to hear that from a lawyer, many give free initial consultations -- talk with one.

    BTW -- Do you know how many of us have been through the system and have filed discrimination lawsuits in the past?

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