sexual harrassment - page 3

Who would you go to????? We work at a small close knit facility. Our payroll clerk has been employed here for years and has been groping female employees for YEARS. Most of the women push him away... Read More

  1. by   Simplepleasures
    Good grief! Who cares who he is friends with? Sexual harrasement and assault is ILLEGAL.First tell DON and HR simutaneously, then wait for a couple of days for their intervention. If their intervention does nothing to protect you, RUN to the EEOC and get an investigation started, they will probably wonder, that if he did what you and coworkers accuse him of WHY hasnt anyone come forward sooner? Plus consult an employment attorney immediatly.The longer you tolerate this behavior the harder its going to be for you to prove, because its been going on so long and no one did anything, Jeesh....
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Feb 5, '07
  2. by   babynurselsa
    Self-defense against an assailant is not against the law.
    Let hime call them and let us both give a police report....
    I will be more than happy to explain how he got hurt.
    Contact the EEOC. I believe they are the ones who handle complaints above the employer regarding harrassment and discrimination.
  3. by   TazziRN
    Quote from GregRN
    if you take this to HR or the police saying that you want to press charges, you won't have a leg to stand on unless he has done this to you (the breast poking incident is yours, not the other incidents described to you). So far as you have explained, he has done nothing to you. Now you've put yourself in the middle of a mess that has nothing to do with you.
    HUH??????? First you say the poking incident is hers, then you say the guy did nothing to her???
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from GregRN
    I spent 9 years in HR before coming to healthcare. So far what you have is hearsay evidence of what people have told you he has done. Further, if you take this to HR or the police saying that you want to press charges, you won't have a leg to stand on unless he has done this to you (the breast poking incident is yours, not the other incidents described to you). So far as you have explained, he has done nothing to you. Now you've put yourself in the middle of a mess that has nothing to do with you. My advice: stay out of it, but encourage those who have told you of his actions to pursue other avenues to get it to stop, including the incident you experienced. I can't imagine that if his actions were as you have been told that these people wouldn't do anything about it, especially if it really has been going on for years, as you say. Is it as serious as they are making it sound? Have you yourself witnessed any of this? It doesn't sound like it. Now, they want to stir up a brand new employee to go in and take the fall for them and you have not even witnessed a hint of this yourself. No thanks. Again, stay far away from being directly involved but encourage those who have experienced this to go the proper routes to get this behavior stopped.
    Do not trust HR, they are employees of the facility and are paid to protect the facilties interests. But in order to prove to EEOC you filed a grievance with your facility, you must tell DON and HR first, then give them a couple of days to do investigation and then get rid of the sexual harrasser.IF they do nothing to protect you from this harraser, file a complaint with EEOC. EEOC is a Federal agency that enforces employment discrimination laws and things like sexual harrasment.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Feb 5, '07
  5. by   CrunchRN
    Well...

    I would start by telling him no. Then I would tell him it is sexual harrasment and that he will be reported. Then I would report it (in writing) to the DON and HR. If things were not handled appropriately then I would take it outside authorities.

    I would also make out a police report if he had touched me liek that and i would file assualt charges.

    If he has not done this to you, but only others say it has happened then they need to take those actions.
  6. by   GregRN
    Quote from TazziRN
    HUH??????? First you say the poking incident is hers, then you say the guy did nothing to her???
    That was poorly worded on my part. I only meant that the incidents she described were not done to her, aside from the poking incident. My bad.
  7. by   GregRN
    Quote from ingelein
    Do not trust HR, they are employees of the facility and are paid to protect the facilties interests. EEOC is a Federal agency that enforces employment discrimination laws and things like sexual harrasment.The above poster's advice to you is erroneous, sounds just like a typical HR person.
    Completely and totally false. All HR departments are mandated by federal law. Further, that standard by which HR is measured when it comes to harrassment is "if they knew, or SHOULD have known" about the harrassment. If either of those are "yes", then HR his held accountable and liable for the harrassment. Case law is full of HR departments whose lack of response to allegations has cost companies millions. That's why they take these things very seriously. Think about what you just said. Do you think HR wants people like this in the company? Not any more than you would. At the same time, unless the OP has witnessed the incidents described to her and if the employees are unwilling to come forward (as so far they have been) then everything is hearsay and it goes no further. That's the law, not HR protecting companies. And if you think you're going to get more action out of EEOC, a federal agency, than HR, then you have likely been misinformed.
  8. by   squeakykitty
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    I agree with going to the DON as a group , but if they are real good friends that discipline wont last long. Personally I would slap the sh*t out of him, but that is just me... I don't even think I would have to do that cause my mountain man husband would take care of it...
    If it was legal I'd probably kick him in the nuts so hard he'd be picking them out of his teeth, and that's just to get his attention.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from GregRN
    Completely and totally false. All HR departments are mandated by federal law. Further, that standard by which HR is measured when it comes to harrassment is "if they knew, or SHOULD have known" about the harrassment. If either of those are "yes", then HR his held accountable and liable for the harrassment. Case law is full of HR departments whose lack of response to allegations has cost companies millions. That's why they take these things very seriously. Think about what you just said. Do you think HR wants people like this in the company? Not any more than you would. At the same time, unless the OP has witnessed the incidents described to her and if the employees are unwilling to come forward (as so far they have been) then everything is hearsay and it goes no further. That's the law, not HR protecting companies. And if you think you're going to get more action out of EEOC, a federal agency, than HR, then you have likely been misinformed.
    Oh come on now, HR IS an employee of the facility and NOT an agency of the government. IF HR does not follow governmental employment laws they will be held responsible by the appropriate agency. I know first hand that HR does not follow ther own policies and does break employment laws in order to save the neck of the employer. Of course HR does not want sexual harrasers in their employ, but that does not mean they will believe the accuser, especially if the harraser is a friend of the DON.There are incredibly unscrupulous people out there that will do the bidding of the corporation. That is why the company is sued for millions of dollars every year and rightly so.The EEOC is not an employee of the corporation and I KNOW first hand an employee will get the protection of the law they fall under from these agencies.It behooves employees to KNOW that HR/ the corporation has no vested interest in doing the right thing for the employee, especially if it is going to mean trouble for them, they will spend thousands of dollars for lawyers to defend themselves. Unless you have a UNION, the Federal and State agencies are the only ones that will see to it that an unbiased investigation ensues and if the agencies findings indicate that the corporation did break certain employment laws, they will MANDATE the corporation to follow the law,giving the employee the right to sue, reinstatment, backpay, etc. etc. Plus the facility will be slapped with fines and an order to rectify their policies that allowed the breaking of the law to begin with. Ive been through this personally and know of what I speak.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Feb 5, '07
  10. by   Medic/Nurse
    I am not sure where to start, so...

    1. This guy is a PREDATOR and I am concerned for your safety. Proceed with deliberation and caution - whatever course of action you choose. There is safety in numbers.

    2. This has been going on for YEARS and has never been "dealt" with - other than weak attempts at diffusion (laughing it off) or limit setting (don't do that) that have not been very effective for very long.

    3. I am a bit perplexed as to why YOU as the "new" employee have been chosen to bring this to an end. Why you? Why now? Others are seemingly unwilling to take a stand? One wants you to "go to the police". Well, the best advice I can give here is to : NEVER go to war without preparation or reinforcements. Don't be the sacrificial lamb - leave your job if you must, but DO NOT FIGHT THIS ALONE.

    4. I share your disgust for unwelcome contact, but other than acceleration of behavior (grabbing between the legs, "poking" at your breast after "confrontation" then laughing) vs. the other more subtle, passive grabbing and poking is not without meaning. This is a terrible situation. To me there is no difference in the passive, subtle vs aggressive, overt. Both behaviors are assault and battery - call it what it is. This guy has "gotten away" with this for so long that one could argue that all his "victims" have consented by remaining silent. Scary.

    Now what? Get your information/facts in order.
    * I am assuming that this is a LTC environment. Is it part of a corporate structure with local owners or just local, private owners?
    * How many employees work here?
    * Do you have a human resource department?
    * Do you have written policies that cover HR or harassment?
    * Have you (and others) been documenting the "abuse"? Important: dates, times, exact situations, witnesses. Also, document any/all attempts that were made to confront his actions. I.E. Your conversation with him about his actions and consequences of continuing the behaviors.
    * How long has he been doing this and who has been affected? Names and degrees of contact are important.

    Options?
    * If you are serious about being the "point gal" on this matter - you have to know what the "team" will do. Assemble the group and have an open discussion - AWAY FROM WORK in A SAFE PLACE. How do you want this resolved. Be prepared to ask the "administration" for what you want.

    STEPS TO CONSIDER:
    1. Tell him to stop. No one gets to laugh it off anymore. Be clear and do not make any threats toward him. He has suffered no adverse actions in the past, has become more bold so I'm guessing that he fears little. But, STOP is a good place to start. Simple, concise and direct.

    2. Request a meeting with the DON, ADON and owners. Do it in writing, if necessary. Going as a group with written documentation would best, but even going alone detailing only YOUR encounter is enough. Any DON that would place friendship before a duty to protect the employees from sexual abuse is sure not to be the DON very long. And if ever pushed he/she could be viewed as allowing the behavior to continue - this could make the DON responsible for criminal or civil liability. I hope the DON is not that STUPID.

    3. I think it may be necessary to point out (to administration) that you have a sexual abuser in a facility with vulnerable populations. Any DON, ADON or owner should be able to conclude that this is a VERY BAD THING.

    Now as to other recourse.

    You detail that you are in a small close knit facility (that fact alone - makes me wonder why the DON is seemingly unaware that this guy makes these sexual advances) and that you/others want to stay there, makes the way you deal with this a bit more complicated.

    Once you give the "administration" a chance to remedy the situation and they fail to act prudently (READ THAT THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE ACTION BY ADMINISTRATION IS TERMINATION OF HIS EMPLOYMENT) then you can proceed with other avenues of resolution.

    Reporting this to the police should be considered, but you can report ONLY what happened to you. Sue Smith can report what happened to her. Jane Doe can make a report on what happened to her. But, you CANNOT report to police instances where you were not a victim or witness. Also, reporting to the police will be a matter of public record if the guy is charged/arrested. This FACT alone is a big deal. I would think that the state that licenses your facility would investigate without delay any facility that employees anyone (in any capacity) charged with a crime of this nature. Do the owners/DON/ADON want this kind of publicity?

    You could also try the EEOC but I have not heard of anyone getting marked rapid success with this type of issue. But, it is a possibility.

    FIRST, If you can --- go to an attorney for advice and I advise it before any other action - IF you can AFFORD to do it. But, I have no idea of your resources - so I am not sure if that is EVEN possible. There may be some here that say consultation is free or that an attorney should help you file a civil lawsuit, but don't count on it.

    You are in a difficult situation. Any action you take can take may come with a price. This has the potential to be a big scandal. Position yourself with as much protection as you can. Ask yourself whether, as the new employee, "is this fight is worth it?". Protect yourself. I've seen a few (reporters) in these type of situations become easily crucified - I know one could no longer find work as a nurse due to her being "labeled" a "troublemaker". Be sure of what you want and what you are willing to do to get it. I'm not suggesting that what is going on is right, just pointing out that this situation is not without risk. Even if you win, you may lose something. Be ready. Be certain.

    GOOD LUCK and stay SAFE.
  11. by   GregRN
    Quote from ingelein
    Oh come on now, HR IS an employee of the facility and NOT an agency of the government. IF HR does not follow governmental employment laws they will be held responsible by the appropriate agency. I know first hand that HR does not follow ther own policies and does break employment laws in order to save the neck of the employer. Of course HR does not want sexual harrasers in their employ, but that does not mean they will believe the accuser, especially if the harraser is a friend of the DON.There are incredibly unscrupulous people out there that will do the bidding of the corporation. That is why the company is sued for millions of dollars every year and rightly so.The EEOC is not an employee of the corporation and I KNOW first hand an employee will get the protection of the law they fall under from these agencies.It behooves employees to KNOW that HR/ the corporation has no vested interest in doing the right thing for the employee, especially if it is going to mean trouble for them, they will spend thousands of dollars for lawyers to defend themselves. Unless you have a UNION, the Federal and State agencies are the only ones that will see to it that an unbiased investigation ensues and if the agencies findings indicate that the corporation did break certain employment laws, they will MANDATE the corporation to follow the law,giving the employee the right to sue, reinstatment, backpay, etc. etc. Plus the facility will be slapped with fines and an order to rectify their policies that allowed the breaking of the law to begin with. Ive been through this personally and know of what I speak.
    You're so far off in so many of your assertions I don't even know where to begin. Your assertion that HR exists to protect the facilities interests only is completely false, and any organization based on this is not on a sound foundation and would crack easily. It's quite possible that YOUR HR experience at YOUR organization in YOUR situation was less than ideal, but the vast, vast majority of HR organizations would take the OP's situation very seriously and quickly. To blanket all organizations the way you have based on your experience is irresponsible and not at all helpful to the OP.

    Jonathan Swift was a genius: "It is useless to try to reason someone out of something they were never reasoned into."
  12. by   GregRN
    Quote from NREMT-P/RN
    3. I am a bit perplexed as to why YOU as the "new" employee have been chosen to bring this to an end. Why you? Why now? Others are seemingly unwilling to take a stand? One wants you to "go to the police". Well, the best advice I can give here is to : NEVER go to war without preparation or reinforcements. Don't be the sacrificial lamb - leave your job if you must, but DO NOT FIGHT THIS ALONE.
    That's what really bothered me about the whole thing. Too many times people do exactly what's being recommended here: run to the EEOC or an attorney, tell them about all the aweful things that are happening at an organization even though they've never witnessed any of it, it gets invtestigated, people who first told these stories change their story or downplay it, so much so that it's not a reportable incident at all, and the attention goes back to the original "whistle blower" who then looks like a trouble maker for making a big deal out of nothing.

    Again, talk to them about your incident only. If they ask about others' experiences or if others are then willing to come forward, fine. Otherwise, for your own protection, be specific to your experience only and encourage others to come forward with their own experiences.
  13. by   Batman24
    You can only report what has been done to you. If others aren't willing to report him it isn't your job to do it for them especially if you didn't witness it. Hopefully by having the guts to take a stand others will as will, but speak for no one but yourself.

    If you can get others to complain with you that would be even better as so many have been affected by this. It they won't complain with you then I wouldn't count on any support from them later on. And it seems some of these people are using you. If they feel so strongly about it then they should have been complaining since it started not asking the new nurse to do it.

    Contact a lawyer for advice. I would then make your employer aware of your complaint in detail in writing by certified mail so you have proof it was sent and received. This gets a paper trial going and cuts out the "he said she said" scenario. If he approaches you again and touches you I would tell him to get his hands off of you and then go call the police in a secure and private area. That is assault as no one is allowed to touch you in a sexual manner without your permission. It is sexual assault AND sexual harassment.
    Last edit by Batman24 on Feb 5, '07

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