Comments Made About My Slip Showing

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about groomig:

A number of times recently my slip has showed below my dress and although as soon as I am aware of the problem I go to the ladies room to pull it back up a certain co worker takes great delight in shouting out “Charlies Dead again, Sue”He will even follow me just to tell me that my slip is showing. He says it excites him seeing me just trying to correct the elastic waist band. I am worried about his behaviour and quite embarrassed. Is this normal male behaviour or should I report it? I do not want trouble.I have tried wearing a full slip so that it will not slide down below my dress but it is to hot and uncomfortable in the office. What is the best action to take?

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When A Doctor Sleeps With An Employee

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about sex with an employee:

Can a doctor lose his license when he has a sexual relationship with a patient or an employee?

Signed, Would Like Know

Dear Would Like Know:

I expect that you want to know because in one way or another a sexual situation of doctor-patient-employee relationship involves you. Much is available on the Internet on this topic and I’ve copied some of that; however, your question is pretty much a legal matter and our site addresses communication within the workplace, not medical or legal issues.

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Sleeping With The Boss

Question:

What can I tell my friend why he should stop sleeping with the female 20 year old worker? He’s been sleeping with her now for the past 3 years. Thank you.

Signed,

Friend of the Boss

Answer:

Dear Friend of the Boss:

Perhaps you should say nothing. I assume that you see this on-going three-year sexual relationship within your workplace as wrong because it is outside of your friend’s marriage or your friend is endangering his or this young woman’s status within your workplace. You probably mean well, but is not that your friend and this woman’s business? You are correct in thinking that such a boss-bossed sexual relationship can mean trouble. But from a practical perspective for one or the other to break it off might lead to big trouble, such as a sexual harassment suit against the company and one or both of them being fired.

What might you say to your friend? You could make the argument that the workplace is for work, not sex, and, therefore, employees that engage in sex, even when it’s consenting and without coercion, is unwelcome by employers. Why? Sex distracts from the mission of the organization. And that should be the focus of your advice, not on your opinion of whether his affair is morally correct. Sex between employees has risks. Non-involved employees may complain of favoritism. Should a relationship sour, that individual could sue for sexual coercion. Employers are responsible for correcting employee behavior that is sexually discriminatory and/or that creates a hostile work environment. Your friend might not be aware of this or if he is aware, he chooses to overlook that potential problem. Giving personal advice probably will be viewed as intervening. You must weigh that before invading your friend’s personal space. The fact that you sent this question indicates that this affair has been playing and replaying in your head. You must decide if that is the kind of thoughts that contribute to the work you are hired to do and also if it has become an obsession. Our archives are filled with questions such as yours. Just click on Archives and then on sexual harassment to see some of them, for example:

Sexual Come-On By The Doctor-Boss?

Their Affair Is Over, Now Its “Harassment”

Time Limit On Sexual Harassment Complaints? Once you reflect on whether to offer your opinion about your friend’s sleeping habits, think again before you act. And if you choose to do that, if you like, feel free to tell me how that advice is taken. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, but that doesn’t include a boss/bossed affair.

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Now what? She Says I Hit Her

Question:

I’m back with an update. I was in the process of moving to our corporate office for a better position when we heard the news that my former friend had filed a complaint with a government office. I know you mentioned before that I shouldn’t be paranoid, but I honestly am. I saw a copy of the complaint and aside from sexual harassment, she added that I had hit her once before. I’ve never touched this girl and am so amazed at what she’s capable of. When will this end? What should I expect? As always, your wisdom on this matter is much appreciated.

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Accused of Sexual Harassment

Question:

I have a best friend at work, who was demoted and I took over her responsibilities. She is a very attractive woman and people sometimes tease us about being a couple. We communicate through text messages and email. She has a relationship with a married man and opens up all the emotional turmoil she goes through. I had emailed her in the past that I loved her and that I would marry her if I weren’t already. I must admit, this sounds inappropriate for me to say, but I just said this to make her feel better. A lot has happened since that email and I have moved up the ranks for efficiency at work. We frequently argue and end up not talking for a while until she would eventually text me an apology (it’s always her fault, she cannot control her emotions). I was called by management yesterday (hoping it was for another promotion) but was presented with the email I sent her before. I was devastated when I saw it. I was told it had to stop. Apparently, she claims I was harassing her. Everyone at work warned me about her but I guess I was smitten by her looks. Management spoke to me yesterday and said the letters should stop. I explained my side, saying that the letter was only sent to comfort her. They asked me to put it in writing and we ended the meeting with them asking if this would affect the way we work, I told them that I am not guilty of anything but would follow their advise and remain professional with the girl. I have kept quiet since yesterday but have told a close friend at work, another female. She was so angry but said that she knows that nobody believes any of her accusations of harassment.

My question is: what steps do I take to protect myself? It’s obvious that whatever communication we send to this woman, she uses against us at work. Management thinks we had an affair, the girl said I was harassing her.

I have a 4- year old daughter who has a heart condition, and I cannot afford to lose work, but with this on my record, I feel that nothing will ever be the same again, should I request for a transfer, look for other work? Please help

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Cleared of Sexual Harassment Charges

Question:

I was finally cleared of the sexual harassment charge. I was told that I would be on suspension for one week, but only after a day, I was called back. I did sign a disciplinary action form that mentions I would be terminated the next time something like this happens. The girl was terminated and my superiors expect her to sue. I am so happy that everyone in my office signed a petition in my favor and some of my superiors wrote letters to corporate praising my performance over the years and that they never saw any harassment occur in the office. My final question would be, what now? If she does sue, what would my involvement be? Can I breathe a sigh of relief now? Thank you for all your help.

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Discipline For Emailing A Former Co-worker

Question:

Do my employers have the right to discipline me for emailing a former employee? The former employee has sent my email to my employer and said she feels threatened and is concerned about her reputation in the industry. Since she no longer works at our company, how can my employers have the right to discipline me? It’s not workplace harassment.

Signed,

It’s Not Right

Answer:

Dear It’s Not Right:

Our site is committed to responding to workplace communication concerns, not legal. Your question about the right of an employer to discipline you for your contact with a former employee hinges on an employer’s fear of being sued. Because employers are leery of being sued for a bad reference, one course some choose is to say little other than date of hire and or separation, beginning. Others additionally might provide ending wage and job title. You probably know now, if not before, that an employer is hypersensitive about being charged with harassment; therefore, can you understand why your employer is troubled that a former employee complained you have emailed her and that she sees it as harassment? It is not out of the question that an employee who separated from a company can bring a harassment complaint for the time she was employed at that company, and an email from a coworker, such as yours, could surface such. You can check with Human Resources to get an explanation for discipline that is handed out and then you can submit a refutation and explanation of why you think this is unfair. For example, you might say if it is true, that motivation for your contact with that individual was a desire to make a date or reconnect as a friend. Unfortunately it was misconstrued as harassment. And if it your email was sent from outside your workplace, you might argue that it was not done in your capacity as an employee, but as a private individual. Of course, apparently you were not aware that contacting a former employee is off limits and had never been informed that it was. You might check with your company’s policy book to learn if such was ruled out of line. Have you made a straightforward statement that you would not have made this contact if you had known such an action could harm your company. Have you offered an apology? Doing so might not clear you of discipline but it should mitigate it. Can you learn from this and see it as time to commit your self to responsible performance? If so, it is likely that you will put this incident behind you. I expect that there would be no need to consult an attorney unless the charge of harassment is carried further. We will be interested to learn how this matter is resolved. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

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Help A Coworker Harasses Me

Question:

A coworker has been verbally harassing me for years. I have written this person up and reported it my boss, then to HR and nothing is happening. It’s escalating to pushing and threatening. Do I wait for them to see if this time they will do anything or do I seek legal advice? I don’t feel safe at work I have a difficult time working in this environment and don’t feel I should have to put up with this I feel it has gone on for too long, but I also feel like I have no one I can turn to for help. What can I do?

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Suspended for False Sexual Come-On Allegations

Question:

I went into work today and was immediately suspended. I was escorted from the premises. Why? 4 days ago I sacked a worker who had been employed for 3 weeks because she was useless at the job.

Yesterday she made a complaint that I had come on to her and she had rebuffed me. I was totally gobsmacked. What do I do now? The situation is being investigated, and I am on full pay.

Signed,

Shocked and Worried

Answer:

Dear Shocked and Worried:

Your company probably has a policy on how to handle complaints of that nature–or they received advice to handle it in that way. That doesn’t mean they believe the allegations or that you are in trouble, only that the matter is being investigated.

Some companies take the approach that the person being investigated should not be on-site during the process. Everyone directly involved is paid to stay home until the investigation is finished. One advantage to that is that it usually means the investigation gets done quickly so the person can get back to work if everything is OK.

If you handled the firing correctly there will be documentation of what the employee did wrong or failed to do correctly, as well as information about your attempts to help her correct the situation. In most companies a supervisor or even a manager doesn’t have the authority to simply walk up and fire someone without some proof of problematic behavior or performance.

If you have that kind of documentation and had discussed your concerns with those higher than you in the organization, there will be proof that the dismissal was justified.

As for whether you came on to her or not, the only way that could be shown would be if a witness was present or if there is some written evidence of a personal overture of that type.

If there is no evidence of wrongdoing and also evidence that the employee was dismissed correctly,you will likely be back to work in a few days. That is especially likely if you have never been accused of such behavior before and if you own work record is good.

When someone is fired they often are shocked and angry, especially if they feel they were not given a chance to learn or improve. If they think the supervisor was unfair or unnecessarily harsh, they may lash out at that person to create problems for them in return. They sift through every conversation to see if anything happened that could be complained about. If even one thing can be used, it often is. That may have happened in this case.

If your actions were correct and appropriate for a supervisor and if you followed company guidelines about dealing with the situation, that will be shown in the investigation. If you’re an effective supervisor your company will be anxious to get you back to work, so this time away won’t last long.

When you return you will be better off if you keep any conversation about this low-key. There is a temptation to discuss it with employees or other supervisors, but that tends to stir things up more. It will probably be best to thank your manager for a fair investigation and put your focus back on your work.

Best wishes to you in this situation. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

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Subordinate With Crush Won’t Accept “No!”

Question:

I have a subordinate who has a crush on me. I’ve told him it is inappropriate and underscored that I am his boss. Yet, he continues to ask me about ‘getting a bite to eat’ or doing something else outside of work.

On the face of it, it is clear, but really, I’ve gotten myself into this mess. He is Mr. Desperately Lonely – comes to work at 6.30AM and leaves at 6.30pm. He has no activities or interests outside work. His big highlight is babysitting his grandkids. Me, I came into the office where the politics were really messy, and this subordinate was very helpful and kind. Plus, I was going through a lot of personal stuff — yes, I was needy. So I showed him kindness by talking to him and was open. And, against my better judgment I agreed to take my kid and go with him and his grandkid to a baseball game. It was very weird experience. He is kind of “not right” in an Aspergers way. Anywway, that was last summer. I had a hard time being clear initially, because politically, I needed him to be on my side, and be my ally.

I did not want to alienate him, so I tried to be indirect, and ignored his ‘crush’ for the most part, thinking it would just work itself out.

Then, he gave me a present for Xmas and Valentines day and both times I went ballistic and told him he can’t do that since it is inappropriate, and that if he didn’t stop I would need to find another job. I told him “I am not your girlfriend, I am your boss. You need to stop.” I told him he could not come into my office to chat, and made very clear what else he can and can’t do.

From Feb 14 to about June, he seemed to be behaving, but, I thought I would up pictures of a boyfriend, who I invented, a tactic, which I thought couldn’t hurt. After I put up the pictures, about 2 wks ago, Mr. D.L said that since he was going to work for another supervisor, he wanted to date me. Before he said this, he asked first if I was dating anyone, and thinking that he saw the pictures, when I said yes, he seemed to fall back.

So the pictures worked.

I haven’t told anyone in the office about the situation. I finally told my boss last week, as a way to let him know a problem occurred and I handled it and how. I didn’t go into all the details because I was uncomfortable and I just want to move on. He thought it was kind of funny, as I did too. Now I am just wondering if I did the right thing by telling my boss.

I don’t want to file a complaint. I don’t want to embarass the subordinate, and I sure as hell don’t want to air the mistakes I made. I need to work with the guy, since he sits next door to me, and also for political reasons. As a single working mom, I need my job.

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