Freind and Sexual Harrasment

Im the president of a small corporation. I have a female mananager That I knew personally (freinds) before I hired her. She always gave me personal advice on my relationship for example Your girlfreind is not beinging honest with you she is seeing someone else etc. She always used her sexuality to get the employees to work for her by flirting with them (me included) for over 2-3 years. One day I misread her intentions and tried to kiss her. She did not pull away but laughed and said she had a boy freind. I treid again with the same results. I relized I has wrong and apologized to her. She said don't worry it was nothing she was gald I tried it with her instead of someone else. I told her I misread her intetions and not to flirt with me anymore. Two weeks later she had told my whole crew about the sittuation and quit with no notice. I found out later she was looking for another job and needed to start right away. I felt like I handled it like a gentalman and "NO means NO" but now she is acting like she can own my company with a sexual harrasment suit. Did I sexually harass her??

1 answer  |  asked Jul 11, 2004 01:14 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
You made yourself vulnerable to a suit

The better question is whether your former manager can win a sexual harassment suit. I do not have an answer, other than to say that she must prove that you made unwelcome, sexual advances that either made her work conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person would quit, or that you intended for her to quit because she did not submit to your advances. These cases get much more complicated, but that is generally her burden of proof.

It sounds like you gave her some ammunition on the advance issue. File that under "Don't do Again." She will likely be able to prove that her boss made a sexual advance towards her.

The difficult issue for her is whether the advance made her miserable or you otherwise forced her out. It does not sound like it, but the court houses would be empty if everyone told the same story when they got there.

For now, sit tight and try to think about something else. You cannot control what she does. If she hires competent counsel, you will probably get an advance notice of the intent to file suit and an opportunity to negotiate a resolution beforehand. If so, find competent defense counsel from Cincinnati and explore whether a resolution is possible.

In the meantime, consider doing sexual harassment training for all of your employees. It is a good idea to do this in response to complaints about sexual harassment and, in your case, it is probably information that you wish you would have had before this.


Neil Klingshirn

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Jul 12, 2004 5:51 PM [EST]

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