Refusing Employer Advances


Hi, Anita:

I have a huge problem that I need help addressing. Just recently we had a change in management and my new manager has been making comments that make me very uncomfortable and are beginning to creep me out. I do not want to quit my job. I just want this to stop! Help!

Dear, Avoiding Awkward Advances:

There is almost nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable and uneasy in your workplace. It is unfair and illegal to be made to feel this way. Sexual harassment is a very touchy subject can teeter between intentional advances and harmless playful comments. Your problem may need a simple straightening out, or it could take further action. Now let us get down to how to fix the problem, shall we?

Man_Call_meAs uncomfortable and cringe-worthy as this may sound, confronting the person in a respectful and professional manner should be your first step. It may be a misunderstanding, or the aggressor may not find his/her comments to be threatening or off-putting. If this is the case, you can sweep the problem off your plate and continue on with your work. It may be good to send an email notifying the person of how you are feeling in case you need additional support if things take a turn for the worst.

If it continues, begin writing down every time your supervisor makes comments or actions toward you that make you feel uneasy. Note the time, date, place, and detailed description of the incident. These notes will come in handy later down the line. Be sure to keep these notes in a safe place where they cannot be accessed by your manager or other co-workers. Your personal computer is a good place for these.

Immediately report the incident to Human Resources. Request a one-on-one meeting with your HR Rep. All discussions between Woman_Concernedyou and your HR rep should be confidential, but it can’t hurt to reiterate your desire for discretion before you begin speaking. Bring any documentation and explain how this makes you feel. Do not hold back. You deserve to work in a comfortable environment.

Remember that you should never be ashamed for the way you feel. If you are uncomfortable, it is your right to stand up for yourself. Who knows? You may not be the only one experiencing these advances.

Take a look at this short video about how to recognize and handle sexual harassment in your workplace:

Readers: What other actions could you recommend that will help resolve this issue? Have you been in a similar situation that you are willing to share?

Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.

Warm Wishes,

Anita

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Juan luis vargas
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 09:14:46

    calmly and lucidly its always easy to fall into the confines of your own mind to find a safe place for you to exhaust and vent to yourself when the time and place weighs heavy to been seen as a advance in a workplace.. when in real close quarters its the feeling of fear and paranoia that compels such action to be looked at in such a grotesque manner… sometimes more then ever you get in a way stuck with one thing and then pushed out by another in a very competitive existent manner…more often times then never…a lie is always set to make it look liek your one place when your mind is really in another….pure red sweep.

    Reply

  2. datruthsreal
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 09:11:48

    I think regardless, sexual harassment cannot go on. If u can’t keep ur nasty mind away from innocent people, he should be fired! He need classes on sexual harassment policy and some sort of diciplinary action to teach him a stern lesson! You could prevent this from happining to another women! Keep ur head up, ur very strong, u will get through it! I would look up a hotline that will help u with that they can help with communication to the higher up, with out worry of repercutions! Good luck my prayer or with u!

    Reply

  3. hrmconsultau
    Feb 14, 2013 @ 17:38:09

    I’d like to add that sexual harassment in the workplace is not acceptable, regardless of whether it’s coming from a work colleague or supervisor. This type of harassment can also occur if you are not the subject. For example, employees who are subjected to observing sexualised behaviour in the workplace are also entitled to raise a complaint.

    Reply

  4. Justin Taylor Aholelei
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 14:14:53

    Well if what he or she is saying can be carried as sexual harassment if it is not that the case be settled as virbal abuse which is not physically yet mentally stressful the work environment must be a friendly and family vibe

    Reply

  5. JazminR
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 11:26:07

    I can relate to you. I am an Office Manager and when i tried to bring an issue to one of my staff member he just started yelling at me using curse language and even treating me. He did it right in front of the owner of the company and nothing was done. Then I made a harassment report and all they did was a ” serious talk”. No warning, no verbal warning nothing was taken into action. Therefore i say just look for another company to work, like what i am doing. If very uncomfortable to work after this event.

    Reply

  6. Phillip Luttrell
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 10:48:58

    please pray for the person. God can do more with this employer than you can.

    Reply

  7. Artina Leatrice Graves
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 08:18:09

    I can truly say when I sent a message to my manager who I assumed was involved he wrote me up. He stuck his tongue out at me and I was hoping to spare all. I was suspended then terminated and I went to EEOC who did absolutely nothing at all about. I can end this by saying I doubt it will do anything at all by her proclaiming her discomfort or by even filing a complaint. In the end she should leave the department or the company to feel secure or safe because no one will do anything at all to help and watch and laugh while she suffers. I am sorry for her because I know what it is like.

    Reply

  8. sarahn gray
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 08:08:36

    I ad a trainee tell me and ask his team employee to help him get me to go out with him and I continue said no and all other advance made by their employee males and females I was hurt by a employee and thats how I left that company I would recommend that company to no one as a place to work.

    ________________________________

    Reply

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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