Being asked out on a date by your boss can put you in a compromising position. On one hand, you may worry that accepting the offer will cause workplace problems, affecting the way your colleagues see you professionally. On the other hand, if you aren’t interested in your boss’s offer, you may worry that refusing will negatively impact your workplace relationship and employment status.
You don’t necessarily have to consult with human resources if your boss asks you on a date. If you are uninterested, a correct approach is to politely decline, making it clear that you respect him or her, but you want to keep your working relationship professional. At the same time, it’s a good idea to consult with an employment lawyer. Even if you aren’t interested in filing a sexual harassment lawsuit at the moment, an employment lawyer can advise you on potential legal remedies if the situation gets worse.
You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or anxious about going into work each day. If your boss continues to make unwanted sexual advances, contact the Advocacy Center For Employment Law of San Jose at (408) 600-1972.
If you’re like most people, year-end office holiday parties are the chance to relax, celebrate, and socialize with your colleagues. However, just because you can finally interact with your mangers and co-workers in a more casual setting doesn’t mean you can neglect your professionalism and responsibility. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your holiday office party without getting yourself into a compromising position.
Set a two-drink maximum
There will likely be plenty of alcoholic drinks available at your yearly office party. However, it’s important to remember that drinking too much can cause you to lower your inhibitions, possibly making inappropriate comments to co-workers or employees. As a good rule of thumb, you should actively limit yourself to only sipping on two alcoholic drinks throughout the duration of the party.
Keep compliments professional
Female employees often dress up for the office holiday party, wearing shorter dresses and showing off skin. In order to ensure you don’t face a sexual harassment lawsuit following your party, make sure to keep your conversation and compliments professional. At the same time, you should remember to wear conservative evening attire, as this is still a work-related, professional event.
Leave before midnight
The office party is a chance to network, socialize, and advance your career, but there is a point where the party can go on for too long. The longer people stay drinking and socializing into the night, the greater the chances that something inappropriate will happen. To avoid being involved in an incident altogether, you need to know your limits and recognize when it’s time to excuse yourself. A good strategy to ensure you don’t stay past your limits is to make plans to meet up with friends somewhere else after you leave.
The Advocacy Center For Employment Law specializes in areas of labor and employment law, with an emphasis on sexual harassment and discrimination litigation. Our San Jose sexual harassment lawyers have represented both individuals and management before the California Labor Commission and U.S. Department of Labor. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at (408) 600-1972.
When many people hear the term sexual harassment, they picture male superiors or co-workers abusing their power and making an uncomfortable work environment for female employees. Even though female complaints still make up the bulk of sexual harassment claims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the number of filings by men has consistently increased over the past years. Unfortunately, men are still less likely to speak up about harassment than their female co-workers.
Uncomfortable Work Environment
There are two types of sexual harassment recognized by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Hostile work environment harassment is characterized by behavior that creates an offensive, threatening, or humiliating work environment. In offices dominated by women, female workers can create a hostile work environment for men by sending inappropriate e-mails or making uncomfortable jokes in the workplace.
Unlike hostile work environment harassment, quid pro quo harassment occurs when someone implies or explicitly demands sexual favors for some benefit, usually a pay increase or promotion. As a result, quid pro quo cases involve a person of power, such as a manager or supervisor, making these demands from a subordinate. With more and more females moving into positions of power, it is becoming more common for male employees to experience quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Fear of Speaking Up
Even though it’s difficult for any employee to speak up about sexual harassment, this is especially true of men. Many men choose to deal with the harassment by simply shrugging it off. Unfortunately, when some men do speak up, their female co-workers or supervisors don’t take the complaint seriously. If a man is the victim of sexual harassment, he should first confront the harasser and clearly state that he wants the behavior to stop.
If you’re managers or co-workers continue to create a hostile or uncomfortable work environment, you should speak with a sexual harassment lawyer. Since 1994, the Advocacy Center For Employment Law has specialized in areas of labor and employment law in the San Jose area. Call (408) 600-1972 to schedule a consultation.
Physical touching and hints of a promotion in exchange for sexual favors are a few examples of sexual harassment. While this type of directed harassment is more obvious, sexual harassment also refers to subtle behavior like dirty jokes, unwanted requests for a date, and the presence sexual images in the workplace. If management ignores a hostile work environment, an employee may have grounds for a sexual harassment claim.
Unfortunately, many employees don’t report sexual harassment because they fear losing their jobs. As this video explains, an employee should first confront the harasser or talk to the human resources department at the first sign of sexual harassment. If this request is ignored, then the employee should investigate legal remedies.
State and federal laws both ban workplace sexual harassment. If you’ve become the victim of unwanted sexual advances, contact the Advocacy Center For Employment Law of San Jose at (408) 600-1972.