OMG this supervisor’s responses to sexual harassment complaints

Folks, let me give you a little free Friday HR pro tip:

If a female employee complains to a female manager that another male manager is sexually harassing her, it’s not ok to for the female manager to respond thusly,

“He’s a guy and you work with guys. Ignore it and smile.”

That’s bad. Worse than pooping on a warehouse floor. (Even worse with the music I selected)

But check out the full quote from the female manager from this recent federal court decision:

“I know that you think he is making sexual comments towards you but I disagree. Because he referenced your panties and what they smell like is just weird and not offensive. Because he says you’re f*ckable is not really offensive either. He’s a guy and you work with guys. Ignore it and smile.”

But wait! There’s more! Allegedly, when the plaintiff later complained again to the same female manager after being on the receiving end of more sexual harassment, the manager fired back with this doozy:

“Your position is easily replaced. [The harasser] makes the company money! Don’t you need insurance for your son? Think about it!”

Based on these allegations, the court allowed the victim to pursue both a sexual harassment claim and a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

So, here’s a friendly reminder: If it’s been a while since you’ve conducted respect-in-the-workplace training for your managers, now might be a good time to consider it. Maybe start with, “Ignore it and smile” as an example of what never to say to a person who complains about discrimination in the workplace.

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  • Nancy Le

    It blows my mind constantly how harassment and discrimination are still taking place.

  • People like this are job security. I keep thinking that with so many of us writing about things like this, it will stop and I’ll be unemployed, but fortunately, they just keep coming!