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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    You need to be able to address the issue and send a strong message. Not formalising it puts you at risk of tacitly condoning it yet you wish to keep the complainants confidence wishes which I can understand.

    In these instances you should look at the bigger picture as you have a responsibility of maintaining discipline and what is right as well as a safe and healthy work environment. The perp cant be allowed off Scot-free either and he needs a sanction.

    Bring him and HR in for a coffee chat, table that a complaint has been received which you need to address. Get his version in the form of a signed statement and issue him with a verbal warning and an instruction to seek professional assistance for both alcohol abuse and sexual conduct, at your expense unfortunately, preferably after working hours to inconvenience him or during working hours but he has to put leave in. Place it on his file.
    I see nothing about a complaint in the OP. "Yesterday, a subordinate comes to me and says that during Friday drinks, after I had left, a guy in another department made an inappropriate sexual advance on her.

    She told me this yesterday, and I discussed it with her."
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  2. #62
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    My opinion as someone who manages a team:

    Once you've been made aware of this - you have no option but to act.

    Despite her requests, your biggest responsibility is towards both the company - as well as the rest of the team.

    She reported this to you for a reason. And in all honesty, you need to get both sides of the story.

    I had a similar situation some years ago. Young girl laid a complaint against a (way) older, married manager. He was a little rough around the edges and it would have been easy to accept that he was guilty. Especially as it was common knowledge that he had briefly had an affair with a younger woman at some point.

    An external/independant party was contracted to investigate the matter.

    The manager resigned before it could commence. Further proving his "guilt".

    Yet shortly after he left, rumours came out that she had lied.

    The same independant party was contacted to investigate and it turned out that she lied!

    She was dismissed. But it still cost him his job!

    Unfortunately you have a responsibility - no matter her wishes.

    And while she might be pissed that you did, in fact, escalate this further, the accused needs to have the opportunity to admit/deny his part in this.

    This will not only CYA, but send a message to the rest that you take these things seriously and that bad behaviour will not be tolerated - whether he is found guilty or not.

    It would be extremely unfair towards the accused if he were to be innocent (not saying he is) and falsely accused. Something you are not in a position to determine.

    It's actually a catch 22.

    Do nothing and it could be seen as you finding such behaviour as being acceptable....

    or

    do nothing, and it could be seen as you accepting his guilt without an investigation. Something that could cause others to lose trust in you.

    You don't really have a choice.

    Especially if he is guilty amd were to repeat this with her/someone else in the future.

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  4. #63
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    I haven't read the whole thread, but it would be wise to let her know that you will be contacting HR. You need to get all three sides of the story. Her side you have, try and get his side, and ask the other people that was also there. It may turn out she is lying. Won't be the first time someone cries wolf. Get HR involved, just to cover you at least. After an investigation, and if found guilty, this guy needs a VERY stern warning, maybe even let go. There is no place for this harassment in this day and age...

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    Let HR know what happened and that the staff member does not want to log a formal grievance.

    You need it on the record to avoid a possible situation of "I told my manager and he did nothing"
    If HR is worth the title. I sometimes have my doubts at my workplace.
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  7. #65

    Default Harassment at work

    Management 101 (no matter the level of management or department) - always better to have an axe over someone else’s head than having someone have an axe over your head.

    Management 101 - deal with the matter professionally bearing in mind that you are working with humans who make mistakes just as you have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes throughout your career.

    Management 101 - nip it in the bud. Things like this have a tendency to boomerang in the long term if not dealt with decisively in the short term.

    My 2cw that experience has taught me. I don’t recall reading any of this any of my varsity textbooks.
    Last edited by Therackermann; 2021/04/21 at 10:36 PM.

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  9. #66
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    I cannot read all but my comments:
    - Never ever offer drinks on company premises to employees
    - Boss can offer to pay some after hours to employees out of company premises out of his/her entertainment budget
    - Boss must leave after one drink

    Company internal drinking sessions only cause trouble. We had even a case on one of the out of premises group sessions where pictures had to be deleted.

    Drink and drive issue...

    I would have a 2nd discussion with the lady and confirm the recording of the case with full protection on any possible after impact. Company should have a policy where the more senior of the two on any hanky panky has to resign - no questions asked.

    I worked for a company where one senior was called Ever Ready. He should have been fired.
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  11. #67
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Aviator, you can be an @ss on the forum, but I wish from the bottom of my heart that I had a manager like you when I was still in the corporate world 25 odd years ago.

    She is scared of the consequences, that is why she does not want you to escalate it. Every woman has that fear. I agree that you should keep her trust at absolutely all costs, but you also need to get something in writing.
    I'd add that you need to tell her that you are going to get it on record with HR, just so she is in the picture.
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  12. #68
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by IanK View Post
    Honestly, I am struggling here: I have no experience of 'drinks at work'. I guess that could work in some contexts.
    We used to have a bar at work, it was housed in an unused part of the building that used to be the gas turbine test rig before it was decommissioned.
    When we knocked off, the hangars and offices were closed and the bar opened to those who wanted to go there.

    When the whole smoking indoor thing became a hot potato, the Boss took the opportunity to close it and throw the smokers outside for their ciggies at the same time.
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  13. #69
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejay View Post
    PS

    If it was your wife or daughter what would you expect from her manager?
    I would expect him or her to send flowers to the guy in hospital.
    Cheers,
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  15. #70
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Let's play devil's advocate for a moment:

    1) You have one side of the story and one description of the incident and surrounding circumstances.

    2) Ipso facto you cannot verify the veracity of the statement.

    3) We have already established you have a fiduciary duty towards your employer.

    If I was an employee looking for a scapegoat way to get a severance package instead of a pat on the back when I resign (and if I had no moral compass), the two controversial but very effective ways to do so would be: a) racism and b) sexual assault in the workplace.

    For some reason when an employer is confronted with any of these two issues, they immediately bek.ak themselves and open the cheque books. I don't know why.

    Anyway, you find yourself in the middle of this mess.

    Let's play the scenario out a bit more...

    She resigns and raises constructive dismissal. Her version will be that she reported the incident to senior management, but nothing was done to protect her. She thus had no other option but to resign. You will quickly find yourself, with whatever you testify, with burning eyes upon you from both your employer and the employee. You are by far too clever to place yourself in such a position, so don't be a poepol.

    Now for all those who immediately wants to attack me for daring to state that a female colleague (in this specific instance) is capable of a scheme of this nature:

    1) I mentioned the phrase "devil's advocate"

    2) Women are as much capable of manipulation and deceit as men

    3) It is a scenario to sketch out the worst possible outcome.
    Last edited by MANDREAS; 2021/04/22 at 09:43 AM. Reason: women iso woman
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  17. #71
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Miems View Post
    The guy in the other department is he:
    Married/single Doesn't matter. It's sexual harassment.
    Older/younger or same age as her Doesn't matter. It's sexual harassment.
    In a position of power Company bullying. But doesn't matter. It's sexual harassment.
    Does he have a rep with the ladies that he gets so and so at drinks Doesn't matter. It's sexual harassment. Would prove to show it's not the first time though.
    How long has he been in corporate? Doesn't matter. It's sexual harassment.
    Do you have a harassment policy at work? Doesn't matter. It's sexual harassment.
    What is the process and how is it worded?
    Sexual harassment goes beyond a company policy. It's covered in law Labour Relations Act, Protection from Harassment Act, maybe more.
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  19. #72
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    I was 18 when I was confronted the first time with sexual harassment at work, I was waitressing and went on holiday, when I came back I was warned by the other waitresses that there was a new manager and he loved touching bums and making sexual comments, when a waitress complained to the manager, he called both in and the long and short she was reduced to tears every shift after that and eventually left, whilst he was still doing it just now so that the manager was never around. I've always been otherwise and not one to keep quiet, on the first shift he was in his place and nothing happened, then the second shift came around and boy his shyness disappeared he would follow me like a puppy we'd stand in a circle and chat and boom there he was next to me touchy, feely, slobbering and I'd be loud telling him off so that all around could hear, making his name gat, and of course everyone would laugh, this happened a couple of times and then he stopped, the other waitresses did the same and soon his hands were his own. This was in the late 80's early 90's and I know times have changed.
    I have always swiftly and sometimes rudely dealt with any advances or innuendos, but I will never ever report harassment nor will I take any manager into my confidence as a result of what happened to that girl.

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  20. #73
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    This thread has opened my eyes...

    I am seriously trying to raise a boy/man your daughter would be safe with.
    Always think: Could this be sarcasm?

    André Opperman

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  22. #74
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Oppies3800 View Post
    This thread has opened my eyes...

    I am seriously trying to raise a boy/man your daughter would be safe with.
    And therein lies the secret

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  24. #75
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Oppies3800 View Post
    This thread has opened my eyes...

    I am seriously trying to raise a boy/man your daughter would be safe with.
    Whahahaha... Please don't, you are a bad influence. Best get your wife to do the job
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Whahahaha... Please don't, you are a bad influence. Best get your wife to do the job
    Craig, I know you meant well, but obviously you missed the parenting plan thread... Not really apt under the circumstances.
    Cheers
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  27. #77
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Having had to deal with difficult situations in a managerial capacity before, my advice would be as follows:

    Yes, the employee requested that it not be escalated, BUT, you as a manager, have been made aware of an alleged action that is against company policy and in terms of the Employment Equity Act is a form of unfair discrimination and is prohibited.

    As such, you have NO choice but to act and report it, no matter how nicely the employee asked that you not do so.

    From a personal standpoint, just imagine the same happens to some other female employee somewhere down the line and it comes out that it had happened before and you knew about it but elected to do nothing.

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  29. #78
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by JS-V8 View Post
    Having had to deal with difficult situations in a managerial capacity before, my advice would be as follows:

    Yes, the employee requested that it not be escalated, BUT, you as a manager, have been made aware of an alleged action that is against company policy and in terms of the Employment Equity Act is a form of unfair discrimination and is prohibited.

    As such, you have NO choice but to act and report it, no matter how nicely the employee asked that you not do so.

    From a personal standpoint, just imagine the same happens to some other female employee somewhere down the line and it comes out that it had happened before and you knew about it but elected to do nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    It is not her call anymore. She reported it to you. You have an obligation to report it as per SOP for your company.

    Whatever happens after that is not your or her call, HR have their procedures.

    CYA, report it because you may find your head on a block the next time it happens.
    Yep. Agree...
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  30. #79
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Quote Originally Posted by MANDREAS View Post
    Craig, I know you meant well, but obviously you missed the parenting plan thread... Not really apt under the circumstances.
    Sorry but it is funny, Oppies is a naughty bugger at most.
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  32. #80
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    Default Re: Harassment at work

    Or....

    She and the male BOTH had a couple of drinks.
    She said something or even touched his hand while they were talking.

    He then might have taken it as a que that she might be happy to ‘flirt’ a bit......

    Now she regrets it and is the first one to come to you to lay the complaint...

    Point I am trying to make is, this is a very dangerous situation for that man.
    He might be completely innocent.
    BUT , in today’s age and how sexual harassment is handled, it does not matter if he is innocent. Once the complaint is made he will have a very hard time to clear his name.

    It would be interesting to see how your HR department handles this.
    If they would interview him and at least try and find eye witnesses?

    What if there were no witnesses and it is a ‘he said she said’ situation.?
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