My dh got "in trouble" today at work for... - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Having an inside joke with another co-worker. She got in trouble too! I am very upset for my dh because he feels like a fool and like a pervert now.

He works at Barnes and Noble and the co-worker in on the joke is the person in charge of doing tear-offs, or tearing off the cover of magazines and books and getting credit for the company. Employees can take any tear-offs home. So it all started when she said to him one day, "I saved you a Penthouse." just to tease him and now every time they see each other in the back storage area one of them says something about "Do you have my penthouse" " I have your Penthouse"

Another employ complained that she was subjected to this joke and so was sexually harassed. Now if they joked about actual sex acts or their talk was sexual I could understand...but joking about a magazine that is sitting on the shelf.

They know who it is...because she complains about everyone all the time...but here is the kicker...

If she called the Barnes and Noble employee services line and said they sexual harassed her, both of them would be automatically fired...no questions asked!
The don't even investigate claims, they just automatically fire those complained about and that seems incredibly unjust!

Anyway, I don't think he will be fired and honestly he really doesn't like working there. Even with all their talk about how well they treat their employees, they are really all about the bottom line and don't care much if people in their employ starve because they are over in payrol...even if they were hired to work full-time.

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#2 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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:

WOW

Should they talk to their supervisor about it? I have a hard time seeing that as sexual harassment but I'm sure they signed some paperwork allowing them to be fired w/o the right to rebuttal. That is just absurd. Anyone w/a grudge could go on a total power play.
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#3 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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Wow, that girl needs to mind her own business...if they weren't talking to her, then she has NO reason to complain!

So sorry this happened!
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#4 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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I agree that is pushing it, but if a woman claims to be sexually harrassed, the law is really on her side. I've taken a few seminars about it in my previous life (before children) & it's pretty much written that if a woman is made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace by someone else's behaviour, then that's harrassment. Obviously, this situation is hardly what most people would consider harrassment, but it's up to that woman to say what feels like harrassment to her.

Sorry that your dh has to work with such a peeb!:
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#5 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, my DH really doesn't like his job...its in another town and he isn't really digging the company. He quite his old job to go to BN because he though ideologically he would fit in well with the company but it seems that the company has all the talk and none of the walk to back it up.

And I think he really needed to see that he was worthy enough to be hired by another employer...he had been with his old one for on and off 10 years. It helped his confidence.

It was his supervisor who spoke to him about it...begining the who thing by saying "This is really embarrassing but..." It just company policy, they have lots of company policies to cover their corporate butts. He really doesn't want to quit though...we have health insurance through them that will cover my home birth but after that I think he will be looking around. Bad timing though, baby is due in November. Not many people looking to hire full-time permanent workers around the holidays.

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#6 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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Even if she wasn't being directly spoken to, but could overhear a conversation, it could be harrassment. But, it's not harrassment until it's made known that the conversation/actions are bothering someone else. So, if B&N fire them without a valid reason, you could sue them for wrongful termination, but probably wouldn't want to, as it's generally not worth the hassle.

I worked in an office and we had the big 'harrassment' talk. You know, what it is and isn't. If it offends someone, it can be considered harassment. If you rub someone's shoulders, tell a joke, touch an arm, it can be harassment. If someone sees or hears you involved w/someone else and it bothers them, it's harassment. Not right, necessarily, but that's the way it was. The kicker was if you were accused of doing something offensive, HR would call you in, tell you that you were doing something offensive and needed to stop. They didn't tell you what, they didn't tell you who complained. They just told you to stop. I know this b/c I was called into HR for offensive behavior. The so called offensive behavior (talking to a woman - friend of a friend- about her husband who I worked who was suspected to be cheating on her with another woman I worked with- I said I didn't know anything about it) occured off work time. The woman called me b/c my friend told her I worked directly w/the womans husband. Confusing, ridiculous. They told me I shouldn't ever talk about something that could affect the workplace.

Now they know the penthouse jokes need to stop and hopefully this busybody troublemaker woman will quit soon.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#7 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly81
Wow, that girl needs to mind her own business...if they weren't talking to her, then she has NO reason to complain!

So sorry this happened!
I agree she should mind her own business but in a work place, if the atmosphere where the person work is hostile, it will be considered sexual harrassement.
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#8 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Michelle,

I'm sorry about your story too! I can't believe they told what you could and could not talk about on your own time. That is even more messed up. Of course, now they know and will stop...I guess what really gets my dh so upset is that she didn't complain to one of them. My dh is VERY approachable and very easy to talk to, one of the reasons why the other worker felt comfortable joking with him so. I think he is really hurt by the whole thing.

Now my dh feels like the atmosphere where he works is hostile and this one person could have him fired at any moment.

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#9 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:22 PM
 
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Ugh, how embarassing for him and undeserved. That totally sucks, I hope he is doing ok.
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#10 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:33 PM
 
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Call the hotline and say that employee grabbed his crotch.: Not really, but it sure would be tempting to cut this woman off at the pass.

Oh, and in most cases, you have to document that you requested the action be stopped. So if she was having a problem, first she'd have to go to both co-workers and say "that behavior bothers me, please stop". Because, funny thing, the law doesn't expect people to be mind readers.
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#11 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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Yeah, I was angry at work for a long time- basically only spoke when spoken to, very careful about what I was saying (though the 'offense' didn't even happen at work) and avoided the 2 others involved at all costs. Now, honestly, if that guy hadn't been screwing someone at work, or had been a BIT more discreet, knowing his wife's best friend worked there and i was friends with said best friend, I never would have become involved.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#12 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess
and now every time they see each other in the back storage area one of them says something about "Do you have my penthouse" " I have your Penthouse"
I don't know about this specific situation, but I've been one of those employees who had to put up with these sorts of sexual innuendos and flirtations between two co-workers who basically I just wanted to tell them to ''Get a room, already'' and stop making the same tired joke 'every time they see each other.' I started to feel like sex was just being brought up all the time, even though it was in a rather modest way. It just gets old sometimes, maybe not harrassment, but just tedious.
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#13 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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That really stinks.. My poor DH went through a bit of a scare a few years ago too.. a woman that quit..called admin to say she though he was harassing another girl that still worked there butthe girl was afraid to say something. He nearly lost his job until ANOTHER woman stepped up and "Testified" that the whole thing was a ploy to get my DH fired because they didn't like him (new Manager) coming in and messing up their homemade rules... this woman could have ruined his life because she had a grudge... I am ashamed to admit that I thought maybe something had happened because I was niave and I could not fathom that someone would just make this up..and I know he is flirty so I thought maybe just maybe.. it was a really ugly time in our lives.. I am sorry you had to go through that...
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#14 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 09:35 PM
 
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I am so sorry. I think that's a buch of garbage. The harrassment laws are way to broad. Looking at someone the wrong way can be considered harrassment. I think we really need to take a long, hard look at the defenition of the world harrassment and at some good, old fashioned common sense. And, some people really should come to their senses and lighten up.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#15 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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What a load of crap. I hope it all works out well and blows over. I also hope that employee lady decides to work elsewhere, or that your Dh gets a fantastic job opportunity elsewhere.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#16 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 10:17 PM
 
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Your DH needs to file a complaint against her for something legitimate! Like being a pain in the ass and butting in during private jokes.
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#17 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild
I don't know about this specific situation, but I've been one of those employees who had to put up with these sorts of sexual innuendos and flirtations between two co-workers who basically I just wanted to tell them to ''Get a room, already'' and stop making the same tired joke 'every time they see each other.' I started to feel like sex was just being brought up all the time, even though it was in a rather modest way. It just gets old sometimes, maybe not harrassment, but just tedious.
I agree. Calling it sexual harrassment might be going a little far, but nonetheless that kind of sexual banter really doesn't belong at work. I realize many jobs can be somewhat tedious and humor helps the day go by, but it really shouldn't be so sexually charged, that's just asking for trouble.
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#18 of 18 Old 06-12-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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There's no excuse for that. I mean, they sell the magazine. So there's no reason it should be deemed inappropriate to talk about it.
If it was a regular office maybe they'd have some kind of wiggle room. But frig...they sell the bloody porn!

See what you need to do is give me her description and the shop number. That way I can call and complain of terrible customer service from her.
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