I have a friend who has recently been accused of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Immediately after the accusation was made, he was tentatively
terminated without pay and had to go home and tell his wife he was fired for Sexual Harassment. Well, after explaining the situation to her honestly and thoroughly, she agreed that the charges were absurd and that she has every intention of helping him fight it. You see, lucky for my friend, he's married to an Attorney who works for a firm that specializes in yep, you guessed it, Sexual Harassment.
Now, due to the fact that this is an on-going case, I have to watch what I say. Without divulging any information, I'll paint you a picture of what took place that caused his female co-worker to feel that she had been sexually harassed.
My friend, who for the sake of anonymity we will call John, had gone to work that day like any other normal day. Well, he and a male co-worker began discussing the Super Bowl and of course, the commercials. I mean, who talks about the Super Bowl without talking about the commercials? (There's a reason why they cost close to $2 Million Dollars for each 30-seconds of air time.) Anyway, Jane (clever, I know. lol) who is a female co-worker of John's overheard him tell his friend that he, "thought the BoDog commercials were just as bad as when Janet whipped one out last year
." That was the statement that "offended" Jane and caused her to file a Sexual Harassment grievance with management and is what ultimately may cost John his job.
Now, I guess
I can see where someone may be offended by the statement "whipped one out", but I would never consider that Sexual Harassment
. I mean, it's not like John approached Jane and said, "Hey, Jane, go ahead and whip one out for us." Now that would be sexual harassment. In John's situation, it's simply a case of someone being offended by something that was said. That's all. Though because "Sexual Harassment" is such a sensitive subject and companies fear the threat of disparaging press and multi-million dollar law suits, they jumped at the first cry and acted irrationally. Shame on his employer for not having the balls to tell Jane that she was blowing the situation way out of proportion and shame on Jane for not being more thick-skinned. My guess was that "Jane" was some ugly, shy cat-lady who kept her distance from everyone in the office and as it turns out, I was right!