sexual jokes in the workplace - page 2

I'm all for having a few good laughs at work, but I'd like an opinion on this. We have a new male RN and he frequently makes comments that can be taken sexually. He has been there less than a... Read More

  1. by   nickola
    The fact that this is a new employee, and nobody knows him yet, is a red flag to me. (shouldn't he be on his best behavior?) Sure everyone makes comments w/out thinking sometimes, we all do. I am no prude, but it would be interesting to know if he's doing other things- inappropriate touching, standing too close, etc. --all of which can be construed as intimidating or controlling & manipulative behavior. I once worked w/a manager that refused to call me by my name, it was always "sweetie-pie" etc. I was too young & shy to speak up, and he eventually left our hospital; less than a year later we heard that he'd been terminated for sexual harrassment-- while none of us had ever reported him, we had no problem believing that someone finally stood up to him!!
  2. by   CHATSDALE
    chuck, be very careful with people like this...fun and games can turn into a snake if something comes up if there is a disgreement that incident of her showing you her g-string will turn into 'he asked me to pull down my scrubs

    find the fun and games away from work, you will never be sorry
  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    "Well I guess your husband detained you in the bedroom this morning, huh?"
    Does anyone truly think this is appropriate to say in the presence of professionals at work? I would give him the benefit of the doubt and tell him I heard it and think it is not appropriate.
  4. by   HM2VikingRN
    absolutely inappropriate.

    The charge nurse blew it. She should have called him aside and laid down the law about sexual harassment.

    This behavior is a form of bullying and there is no room for it in the workplace.
    :angryfire
  5. by   Crux1024
    Quote from penguin2
    I'm all for having a few good laughs at work, but I'd like an opinion on this. We have a new male RN and he frequently makes comments that can be taken sexually. He has been there less than a month, so we don't even know him yet, and last Saturday he commented to one of our new grads who was about 15 min. late to work (car trouble), "Well I guess your husband detained you in the bedroom this morning, huh?" she laughed it off & seemed unoffended by it, but a couple of us found it inappropriate. Our charge nurse told us that unless the person he directed his comment to found it inappropriate that we should ignore it. ???? No matter how I look at this, it seems unprofessional to me!! comments??

    Back to the OP's original question. Like someone said b4, Even if the comment was not directed at you, if you heard it, you are within your rights to report it. Does your facility have a coorporate compliance officer or an anonymous compliance tipline? If this is something that truely bothers you and you can not speak to him directly, this could be the way to go. Only bad part about the hotline, is that the person is a little blindsided and it goes to more than just your charge nurse. You will then involve HR and risk management.

    Good Luck

  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    I would give him the benefit of the doubt and tell him in private, "What you said made me very uncomfortable. Please speak in a professional way here. Thank you."
    And than be as helpful as possible to him always with "please" and "thank you"

    It may prevent his getting in trouble later.

    I would have thought a doctor knew better than to tell a sexually explicit joke to me and our new orientee. When I told him it was inappropriate he said, "I'm sorry."
  7. by   Tweety
    Your charge nurse is completely incorrect.

    Two respiratory therapists were fired for making racists jokes that the recipient didn't find offensive, but the secretary close by did.

    He needs to be told to stop. Preferably by the one offended.
  8. by   justme1972
    I can enjoy a good joke as much as the next person. Being female, I have zero humor where jokes contain the "p" word, or the "c" word...and if they make reference to my personal sexual behavior.

    I have a really good male best friend (he's gay, so my husband doesn't care)...he came by my work when I was getting off, and he greeted me, and of course, my eyes lit up (he was visiting from out of town and I hadn't seen him in almost a year), he gave me a huge kiss on the lips (closed), and several tight hugs. I didn't work around clients, so the only person in the office were co-workers...whom I THOUGHT I had a good relationship with.

    When I got back to work the next day...rumer was my husband and I were separated and that was my new "piece" on the side.

    I was livid.
  9. by   Bigdreamer
    I have found that laughing off jokes in the past have encouraged the harraser. They figure if that joke went off fine the first time, then they figure it's okay to continually get more offensive with the jokes. Not all sexual jokes are intended to offend however if you don't say something to the person/supervisor then you could be asking for more. My boss was an HR director that taught the sexual harrasement class but it didn't stop him. I thought it was all innocent considering his age and he was married but then it got way worse. Don't let it slide....if you're uncomfortable. I've learned my lesson. Just my 2 cents.
  10. by   RN34TX
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    When I got back to work the next day...rumer was my husband and I were separated and that was my new "piece" on the side.

    I was livid.
    Your co-workers need to find a "piece" of their own so their own lives won't be so dull and boring that they need to be so fascinated with your personal life.

    I hope you confronted the co-workers who saw you with your friend and started those wild stories. It's not your fault that they don't get enough action in their own personal lives and feel the need to make up stories about you.
  11. by   jill48
    Quote from tazzirn
    technically it's also harassment if the surrounding listeners are offended, not just the target. if you don't want to take it that far, what buddiage said is good. the best reaction would be no reaction.
    i agree with tazzi. just because the intended person wasn't offended, doesn't mean i wouldn't be offended if i heard it. big no-no. :smackingf
  12. by   casi
    This could have easily been an innocent well meaning comment. People make these types of comments all the time among friends, and sometimes it's very hard for people to decipher the difference between co-workers and friends. When you work in a smaller high stress environment there's a close relationship or central bond with co-workers.

    Someone needs to take him aside and give him a friendly heads up that those kind of comments aren't work appropriate.
  13. by   mercyteapot
    This came up recently in another thread, in which a doctor had made a blatantly inappropriate remark. It stunned me how many people thought that was okay. If nothing else, people who do this are begging for trouble because it is going to cause them nothing but grief when someone- anyone who can hear it, whether it is addressed to them or not- gets tired of it and reports it to HR. Put in the simplest possible terms, you're not allowed to do this at work and if you have a grain of sense, you save your off-color remarks, no matter how amusing you and your friends may find them, for forums in which they are not legally forbidden. (Of course, I use the term "you" in the collective sense; I'm not suggesting that the OP or another poster here has done this).
    Last edit by mercyteapot on May 12, '07

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