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Workplace harassment laws: Gone too far??

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Root 5, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Today in North America, you can be fired, or at least disciplined for harassment, because you said to a lady, 'I like your new highlights!' [ Her hair.]

    In fact, you can get fired/disciplined for less than that!

    A woman could walk into the cafeteria at lunch, randomly pick out a man, be alone with him for 45-seconds (maybe not at all), make a complaint, and he'll quite likely be disciplined for it!

    The days of needing proof are gone.

    The workplace is getting really, really ridiculous.

    Wotcha think?
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    At a sexual harassment seminar we ran over different scenarios of behavior considered to be "harassment." One of the scenarios was Bill, Tom, and Larry decided to go for drinks after work. They don't invite Sally because they assume she won't go (for whatever reason.) The reason is was considered wrong is that work related things could possibly be discussed that may involve her. It was an item that could be turned into a complaint to HR.
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My wife works in HR. Everything is about documentation. He said she said might get attention, but without witnesses or a history of bad behavior, firing someone exposes a company to liability. They better have their ducks in a row before they drop the hammer.
  4. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    And your point is?

    Given that people are accorded equal rights you could just turn the genders around in the examples you give and the result would be the same.

    It may be different in Canade than in the UK but it's really no more complicated than showing due respect for your colleagues regardless of whether they are male or female. That coupled with the fact that most managers have a degree of common sense that would cause them to question the whys and wherefores of a given situation rather than take the word of one individual against another at face value.

    Sounds to me as if it's your paranoia that's the real issue.
  5. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    That it happens.

    It still doesn't make it right.

    Oh yes it is. One person's idea of 'respect' is another's insult.

    They don't question it; they take an accusers word as 101% fact. The accuser is accorded all the rights & protections. An accused person effectively has none. The accused person is not allowed to know any of the allegations against them, who lodged them and whether there were any corroborating witnesses!

    Can you imagine what'd happen if an accuser takes their employer to court for failing to believe them?? $$$$$....

    I wish that's all it was, paranoia.
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I find that if I treat all my co-workers with respect, I don't need to worry about being charged with harassment.

    Could someone make a false claim about me? I suppose. If it happens to me someday, I'll deal with it accordingly. I'm not going to sit around and worry about it.

  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 on this if you have a history of even coming close to this behavior you could be at risk because you have a pattern of behavior companies are very careful when they fire folks.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I think that as long as you have a few brain cells and actually use them, you will have no problems. The pseudo-examples the OP cited are pretty nonsensical; they're straw men, not realistic.

    The current situation is not ridiculous, nor is it inappropriate, although there are always people who can take any position to an extreme.
  9. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    No, they're not--so provide some links to real-life cases that back up your statements.:)
  10. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Banned

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US

    Well played sir, well played.
  11. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Have you been accused or disciplined for sexual harassment?
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Greg, with privacy concerns being what they are today, most companies don't contact the AP everytime they fire a person for sexual harassment.

    I've witnessed a few "harassment gone to far" situations. In one, a woman filed a complaint against a male coworker because he complimented her shoes (they were bright orange). There were 11 witnesses to this compliment, including myself, and no one (except the complainant) thought there was any sexual harassment in the comment. Despite this, the man was put on final written warning and barred from raises or career advancement for three years. He quit a month later.
  13. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass SUSPENDED

    Apr 10, 2009
    It acted like a balance wheel, from an extreme to the other. I'm confident a decent "middle" will be reached some day.
  14. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Well, first, I'll say I love Canada and Canadians.

    Secondly, times have changed. Keep your ding dong in your pants during meetings, working at your desk, and walking to and from the restroom.
  15. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    To answer the OP's question -- No they haven't.
  16. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    The easy way to never have to worry about it, in theory, is to be professional at work and not say anything of a personal nature to someone who might take it the wrong way. I was going to write that in practice, this leaves grunts and whistling and other noises as the only possible ones that can't be mis-construed, but we all know this isn't the case.

    Maybe it's best to act like Raj, on Big Bang Theory- don't say a word when a woman is near. Just nod for yes and move your head side to side for no.

    Seriously- at work, be professional. Away from work, you can say just about anything but don't go overboard but get to know the people before saying something that could go the wrong way.
  17. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    A friend was the manager of a section in a firm here and after they all had a mandatory sexual harassment meeting with corporate HR, he opened the door of his office and saw one of the women on all fours, sorting some documents that she had, apparently, dropped. The first thing he said was "Just what I like to see- a woman on her knees". The manager of the whole office said "Get in my office, now!" and my friend said "Jeebus, Mike, it was a joke!'.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I read something yesterday in huff post that really got me going. I'm not condoning what went on in this story, and I definitely think it was wrong - but the headline on AOL said something to the affect of, "Horrifying Abuse", and something about he "Predator" being someone the family knew, in the subtitle. Anyhow, bottom line in the video is some guy bugged his autistic kid and sent him off to school one day, looking for something I guess to start sheiit about. He got it. At one point you hear the teacher say to the kid, almost under their breath, "You are such a bastard".

    In a perfect world people wouldn't get frustrated, they'd be overflowing with love 24/7, and such utterances would never come out of them. Well, I'm pretty sure that teacher lost their career over this, and a lot of people are going to pay dearly for the "crime". I'd like to put a mic on that kid for some of his alone time with his family. I'm going to guess his parents may have at one time or another said something similar.
  19. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    It sounds like people in America being people in America to me. 50% brat and 50% stupid; 100% American. ;) I don't know why some people feel the need to get so sensitive over the smallest of things. That, and drama. Most Americans need drama in their lives; they watch it on their t.v. everyday, for god's sake. It's on their mobiles, in their magazines and papers; they wear it, they brandish it. They feed on it. They also create it for them selves to generate some hollow meaning to a life that they don't want to accept as mostly insignificant. To me, people that would purposefully try and ruin, if not destroy, someone else's life just to get attention or cause a stir, have no place in this world.
  20. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    I can see that being a problem.

    We had CPR training and it was 20+ men and one younger attractive female . Anyone who has had this knows how you di the mouth to mouth and are bent over with your arse in the air while doing it .

    They made all the men leave the room while the female did her training / test . She was uncomfortable with all the guys watching her do this . They did allow her to stay while we did it .
    she was a real piece of eye candy and she knew it.
    Was that equal treatment ?
    We didnt really care .