Fed up with his Sexual Comments---H.R. professionals your opinion is welcome!

HubbaWubba

Member
Mar 7, 2007
4,842
3
"back-twistin rhino,"

Damn makes me hate being straight! I apologize, that made me chuckle...and strangely intrigued. :shame:

Daniela, I think you did the right thing if you are feeling uncomfortable at all. You got great advice from everyone.
 

Pursegrrl

Oh no she di-int!!
O.G.
Jun 1, 2006
28,070
74
53
Seattle
Holy effin' s***, Daniela...I'm no prude either but that is COMPLETELY unacceptable. And coming up behind you to practice his massage moves?? Straight/gay/bi/whatever that is over the top so sick and wrong I am seeing red. This dude is on thin ice. And may have a lot more time on his hands for back handed rhino or whatever if he doesn't wise up.

I would like to add that, coming from ahem 13 years in Helpdesk/IT, that these jobs DO require you to be pretty much chained to your desks and on the phones most of the day. In other desk jobs you have the opportunity to get up and walk away, go to meetings, etc. When you are a helpdesk professional you need to be "cheeks in the seats" as we like to say, otherwise you ain't doin' your job. So, if there is something going on in earshot of you, whether that is annoying coworker habits, smelly foods they eat at their desks, jibber jabber, overly personal phone conversations at their desks, cubicle posters that offend you, it gets magnified in this type of work. Just sharin' a bit of my viewpoint. OK...off my soapbox, sorry.
 

Charles

Sucks at budgeting
O.G.
Jan 5, 2007
15,467
3,402
45
Jacksonville, Fl
I get you...really. We have a coworker (who's gone now..finally!) who would clip his fingernails weekly. I'm not sure if this guy had plexiglass, or perhaps Lexan for nails, but it was the loudest clipping sound I've ever heard. And, I might be ok with it if he did it quickly, but no...he took about 4 clips per finger...take a break to bite whatever he's eating...more clips....take a drink...more clips...do some needlepoint...more clips. UGH!
 

GyrlLayney

O.G.
May 31, 2007
3,109
70
USA
Hi, Charles and Nishi621....

I know what you are saying and understand your point 100%.

I have two reponses to that. Number one, it's kind of like Pursegrrl explained. I am also in a help-desk environment and I can't get up and walk away from this guy, as I am often on the phone or working from the computer. It's not that any one or two or even three of his comments offend me. I just don't like hearing about how he, his boyfriend and a third party named Felipe performed the "back-twistin rhino," some sort of sexual positions I'm not aware of, or how he "loves it" when his boyfriend gives him a golden shower. I'm not a prude and I'm aware these things exist, and that's fine. But would you want to listen to that all day long, 5 days a week? Trust me, it gets old.

Secondly, I did not mention it in my first post, but on two separate occassions, "Steven" who is in massage school at night has taken it upon himself to sneak quietly up behind me and try to massage me, one time putting his fingers uderneath the back part of my hair causing me to nearly jump out of my seat. I didn't need to take care of that as my sup witnessed him doing this and pulled him in the office for it. He also did this to another female co-worker about a week later.

It's not about whether the comments are directed towards me, or if I'm offended. I just dont' want to listen to juvenille B.S. from a grown man that acts like a 14 year old. I work for a very professional and well known Fortune 500 company, and even if I didn't , it's still just not appropriate.

Daniela - Based on your side of this situation... it seems that you absolutely did the right thing for YOU. Generally speaking on one level, by law you and every other employee are all entitled to a work environment free of discrimination that violates company policy and/or local/state/federal statutes. On another level, it is up to the company to decide if they want to follow the law, nevermind have its own non-discrimination policy AND enforce it (via investigations as mentioned by prev. poster). So based on your actions, you placed the company on notice and the onus is on them to take action or not. If no action is taken, then you, as an at-will employee, need to decide if you want to stay at such a company or leave (which may be a case for "constructive discharge." And should the company decide to not take any action by at least conducting an investigation, then their consequences may include employee turnover to major lawsuit penalties... and we're taking millions (Here's what happened to Pepsi: http://www.eeoc.gov/press/12-23-02-a.html ). You can always google "discrimination law" or "sexual harassment cases: or "EEOC" or your company's HR policies and your state's civil rights commission for further details.

That's just my two cents (btw, my professional background includes having investigated over 200 indiv. complaints of discrimination for state agencies and corporate HR.)
 

caitlin1214

tPF Bish
O.G.
Jul 7, 2006
29,122
771
41
Toronto
www.facebook.com
Where I used to work at Starbucks, in the back room there was a poster listing what exactly constituted as sexual harrassment. We broke, like, six of those eight things on a daily basis. Our reasoning was that it's only considered sexual harrassment if it was unwelcome!



Seriously, if you feel uncomfortable and there is absolutely no way you can move away from it then you need to say something.
 

balihai88

O.G.
Jul 31, 2006
4,979
389
96° in the shade
Although everyone's tolerance for behavior and comments is different, the one that counts is yours. If you are bothered or "offended", you did the right thing by going to HR. As others have pointed out, harassment can happen to anyone by anyone, regardless of gender, orientation, etc. And while "harassment" has some pretty strong connotations to it, if your work environment (which this coworker is part of) does not enable you to do your work, your company needs to do something about it. They also need to protect you from any retaliation as a result of coming forward. Lots of people are reluctant to come forward because they don't want to be seen as troublemakers, prudes, or having an axe to grind. But the reason people like this get away with such unacceptable behavior is because most of the time people who are in a position to try to change it are not made aware.
 

Daniela7474

Member
Aug 26, 2006
305
0
Hi, everyone!

Thanks for all your great responses. Well, I told my supervisor who notified H.R.

They decided to pull "Steven" into a meeting to let him know that what he was doing was unacceptable, and (unbknownst to me) this isn't the first time, but the SECOND time someone has reported him. I live in Canada but work for a HUGE American company here, so they are very good about these things and as I've discovered this week, have a process in place to handle this. He is on a "three strikes you're out" program. They have moved his seat next to ths supervisor's desk and now I don't have to listen to it.

I was afraid and a bit timid about speaking up, but I'm so glad I did. I can work in peace again!

Thanks everyone for giving me your advice and opinions. I appreciate it so much and this forum is just the best! :heart: :heart: :heart::tup:
 
Feb 17, 2007
4,883
0
New York & Florida
Ok, I'll be the a$$. Honestly, I don't see the big deal, and it has nothing to do with his sexual orientation, but I'm a rather laid back guy who doesn't get offended easily. What about his comments really offend you i he's not directing them towards you? I mean, he's not saying YOU have a cute butt, or what he wants to do with it. And yes, I am aware that just cause the comments aren't directed to you, doesn't mean it's not harrassment.

Just curious..do you and your friends ever say a guy walking by has a cute butt?

As far as procedure, I think you did the right thing. I'm a firm believer in talking to the initiator first. How are people to know they're offending you unless you tell them? So good job on that. You've done your part...now, it's up to HR

ITA with you, but some people take it offensive and I dont blame the OP she did the right thing. If I had someone tell me all those comment I would laugh:lol:You did a great thing...It was something you were uncomfortble with.