sexual jokes in the workplace

  1. 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??
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  2. 133 Comments

  3. by   buddiage
    I think giving him a silent stare with one eyebrow up and no smile will get the message acrossed.

    I can hack some of that, but if it was repeated over and over again ad nauseum, I'd spell it out for him that these days he is ASKING for litigation.
  4. by   TraumaICURN
    If the person he's directing his comments to doesn't mind, then it's really not a problem, BUT the problem is that eventually he will direct his comments to someone who DOES mind....then the issue of sexual harrassment would come up.
  5. by   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.
  6. by   firstyearstudent
    I wonder if the comment was address specifically to her or to the whole groups. In the first instance, I really think it is none of anyone's business. Because nurses work in close quarters we all are in situations where we should "tune out" the brief and personal conversations co-workers have with each other, whether it's a sexual job, a complaint about hemorrhoids, ******** about a family member or whatever. However, it the comment was made for all to hear, and you were expected to share in the laugh, then it is totally appropriate to indicate in some way that you really didn't find it funny. Most people can tell which was the intention by the tone in which the comment was delivered.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I tell the person, "That is inappropriate."
    A surgeon who I informed that his lewd joke was not appropriate years ago makes a point to tell a clean joke whenever he comes to our unit now.
  8. by   firstyearstudent
    I wonder if the comment was addressed specifically to her or to the whole group. In the first instance, I think it's no one's business. Because nurses work in close quarters they are in situations where they should "tune out" the brief and personal conversations co-workers have with each other, whether it's a sexual joke, a complaint about menstruation, problems with a family member or whatever. However, if the comment was made for all to hear, and you were expected to share in the laugh, then it is totally appropriate to indicate in some way that you really didn't find it funny. Most people can tell which was the intention by the tone in which the comment was delivered. But be sure or you might get this comment back, "I wasn't talking to you!"
  9. by   TazziRN
    First Year, it does not matter if the comment was directed at the OP or not. If something is said in an open setting and is offensive to any of the listeners, whether the comment is to one person or all of them, it is considered harassment. "I wasn't talking to you" doesn't work. I'm not saying I agree with this, but that's the way the law reads.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    I think some remarks are not OK in a public place.
    Even in a break room I can help a colleague know when their words or behavior are not OK.
    If there was any chance a patient or visitor could hear it then he needs to be told.

    Some of the very same managers who are passive about inappropriate behavion discipline the nurse after a complaint.
    This nurse needs to know it is not OK.
  11. by   chuck1234
    If the new grad does not mind, THEN...follow the instruction given by your supervisor....
    But don't you think we always hear that in the T.V....
    In our ICU, some female nurses as well as male nurses, they always say some "horrible" thing to each other...sometimes in the nurses' lounge, when I go inside while a female nurse inside(not all female nurses, only a few of them) she would flirt with me...at one time...she even put down her scrub pant just to expose her G-string to me and asked me if it were a sexy one.
    Was it a sexual harassment to me?
    My answer is....I was enjoying it....
    Now you now the rest of the story....
    Did I just answer your question?
  12. by   CHATSDALE
    i know this type..if called down about something they look shocked and say 'gee you do't have any sense of humor'
    another thing once they get started they think they have the go ahead and they will find something just on the edge all the time, you can really get tired of hearing it every day
  13. by   chuck1234
    Oh...By the way, this is New York City, we are not that conservative...this sounds like Sex in the City.
  14. by   chuck1234
    Quote from chuck1234
    If the new grad does not mind, THEN...follow the instruction given by your supervisor....
    But don't you think we always hear that in the T.V....
    In our ICU, some female nurses as well as male nurses, they always say some "horrible" thing to each other...sometimes in the nurses' lounge, when I go inside while a female nurse inside(not all female nurses, only a few of them) she would flirt with me...at one time...she even put down her scrub pant just to expose her G-string to me and asked me if it were a sexy one.
    Was it a sexual harassment to me?
    My answer is....I was enjoying it....
    Now you now the rest of the story....
    Did I just answer your question?
    To name just a few...I got more....

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