Sexual harrassment? - page 3

I had a male nurse co-worker who was actively engaging in "sexting" during the shift and showed me a very provocative partially nude female on his cell phone. As the charge nurse on duty I was required to right him up causing him... Read More

  1. 5
    ...and now I guess I'll weigh in on the questions asked by the OP:

    I believe you overreacted--highly. If I understand the situation correctly, a co-worker showed you a photo of a partially-clad woman and your response is to "write him up"? He lost 2 weeks' worth of pay, and there's even an INKLING that he might lose his job? Severe overreaction.

    ALL that had to happen here, upon Joe Nurse showing you this photo, is for you to say "Seriously, dude, totally inappropriate. Lose the photo and NEVER show me that cr@p again, okay?" That's it. Period.

    If he persisted, made it a habit then fine, go ahead and complain. But one single incident in which he had no way of knowing you wouldn't find it humorous (or whatever)? Too much, too strong, too fast.
    anotherone, morte, 37 C, and 2 others like this.

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  2. 0
    Since you're charge nurse, besides telling him he's inappropriate, telling him to stop wasting time he's being paid-for, would have been a good idea. I do think you over-reacted, especially if you didn't talk to him about it before you reported him. That's not following the chain, is it?

    I also wonder....has the rule to not have cell phones on the floor, because they can interfere with things, flown out the window?
  3. 1
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Might be worth mentioning here that since you were co-workers, with you actually being a step "higher" than him as charge nurse, there has been no sexual harassment by ANY definition. It's not opinion, as you're viewing it....it's a legal term.

    Sexual Harassment is a condition in which a manager/supervisor/employer has been found to be discriminating against an "underling" because of sexual favors. Either they have been requested or rebuffed, but to BE sexually harassed an employee must be informed in some way (or suggestion made) that a raise or promotion--or possible demotion or other punishment--depends on some type of sexual favor or response.
    That is not the EEOC's definition of sexual harassment. The harassing party does not have to be a superior to the party being harassed.

    Sexual Harassment

    "It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
    Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
    Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
    Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
    The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer."
    musingmom likes this.
  4. 1
    How do you "right" someone up? Hahahahaha. I just get such a kick out of people in "charge" positions who do things like mix up words or use words improperly.
    anotherone likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from Altra
    That is not the EEOC's definition of sexual harassment. The harassing party does not have to be a superior to the party being harassed.

    Sexual Harassment
    "It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
    Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
    Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
    Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
    The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer."
    Hmmm, I'm going to have to do some more checking! If this is the most recent and correct information, well....I stand corrected, and I thank you. However, I remember this being in the news not long ago, and the reason why it WASN'T considered "sexual harrassment" was because of the very nature of the situation the OP described: the "harasser" was actually subservient to the "target". Thought I had remembered it pretty well, but maybe not.

    Beyond that, even if the employer/employee situation is exactly as you describe, what is painfully evident is that this WAS a single incident. It was not severe, it was not prolonged. It wasn't illegal for him to make a single comment, joke, or show her the photo.

    Her consideration, therefore, of this being "sexual harassment" is unfounded.
  6. 3
    It may very well not be my place to chime in here, but I'm going to anyway.

    Until very recently, I was the only male on my shift (I'm a CNA). It amazes me how people can miscontrue things like this. Is what he did wrong? Yeah, he shouldn't have shown you that picture and you shouldn't have known he was "sexting" rather than just texting. But, seriously, a write-up? It would have been so much easier for you to tell him these things were inappropriate, for everyone involved. Now he gets to lose two weeks of pay and quite possibly start looking for another job IF he gets to keep his license.

    Every night I go to work, I get to listen to one particular coworker tell everyone at work the things her new boyfriend did to her the night before. Seriously, who cares? But the other girls eat this up. There's a lot of "Oh, I wish my husband would..." and "If my boyfriend would do [this] I'd do [that] more often." Seriously? When did this society become so sexually engaged that we feel the need to tell every person we know about our sexual exploits? I don't go around bragging about how many girls I've been with, what I'm going to do with whoever next time we go out, or talking about the experiences I had with so-and-so or what's-her-name. If I did, those girls would have me fired in a heartbeat. Yet when they make ME uncomfortable by talking about this and that, there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

    Somehow we have gotten to the point that if a guy brags about or shows off the things his partner/friend/whatever does for him, he's a stud, in general society, but in a society of primarily women (such as the nursing field) he's a dog. Okay, so men are dogs, but women are what? Apparently goddesses. The girls I work with are taking turns reading the 50 Shades of Grey books, mostly while at work. From what I've heard, some of that stuff is probably a lot raunchier than "sexting." Yet this is acceptable. "Oh, it's just fantasy." Yeah, but it's SEXUAL fantasy.

    Do I partake in "sexting"? Not really. Do I partake in my coworkers' sexual conversations? Not at all, even when asked. I've been having problems with the girls I work with, anyway. I don't want to do anything that can be miscontrued as harrassment. I have ONE girl I talk to at work. We're about the same age, have been in similar situations, and get along very well. We don't talk about who's doing who. For the past couple of days we have worked directly together, we have talked primarily about my ex and how I feel about her.

    My point here? Dude, you overreacted. BIG TIME. I can almost promise you that guy meant nothing more than "Hey, I trust you, what do you think of this chick?" when he showed you that picture. He didn't ask you for similar pictures, did he? Or is there the possibility that he just needed a friend to say "She seems kinda skanky..."? Seriously glad I don't work for you. I'd smile and you'd swear I was making lude comments. How do I know this? Guess what I got reported for Wednesday night?
    anotherone, FMF Corpsman, and Alana R. like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Altra
    The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer."
    Just considering something....technically the guy in the scenario (Joe Nurse) might be a co-worker, since the OP as charge nurse cannot fire, hire, or promote him. But an interesting twist is that he IS 'under' her supervision because she IS the charge nurse and because she has the ability to "write him up" and request disciplinary action. And nowhere in that quoted definition does it cover someone who claims harassment from a subservient employee.

    Which, I guess, goes to my original comments: it cannot be legal sexual harassment if Joe Nurse is not her co-worker, but a staff member she supervises.

    Chances are, though, he'd be considered a co-worker in this situation, and all bets are off!
  8. 1
    I agree with the double assertion that there is a double standard. I've had females sit right next to me and talk about the very explicit details of their love life. Too much detail and imagery. I'm not made "uncomfortable" easily and I was...........

    Now, take the same situation, but make it two men sitting next to a female nurse discussing things. Even if they don't care to admit it, many people see this as a completely different thing. Not saying I believe you to be this way, but believe it or not, a lot of the write ups concerning lewd jokes/harrassment come from.........guess who? The biggest culprits of the exact same behavior. Why? Because people see how they act, assume they are OK with that sort of joke/conversation and proceed accordingly.

    I would have told the nurse to stop showing me pictures, then go from there depending on his response. I've had nurses tell me my humor makes them uncomfortable.........and I appreciate it and respond by curbing the jokes. On the other hand, if I were one of these people who responded by ignoring your warnings or calling you a prude........then there is a problem that requires mediation from management.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. 2
    Lose his job? No. This isn't male comradery speaking, just an honest opinion.

    As others have said, there is a huge double standard in nursing. As a male myself, I am very reserved and cautious in discussion. Even if I feel I know the person well enough and the boundaries, I know the implications of sexual harrassment accusations and the weight that follows. I have not personally been accused, but I know some that have (some with and others without merit).

    Here is my impression: you should have addressed it with him immediately on the spot if it makes you uncomfortable. You don't have to come off as disciplinarian, just a simple "sorry, that really isn't appropriate" will suffice. Sexual harrassment is just that - harrassment. As in repeating the act with full knowledge that it makes you uncomfortable. He certainly overstepped his boundaries, but you need to declare those boundaries clearly. Unprofessional? Yeah, as are most non-work conversations at the nurses station. You are justified in writing him up, although it would have been more effective to have just spoken directly to him.
    anotherone and FMF Corpsman like this.
  10. 1
    Wow. Someone is really power hungry.
    anotherone likes this.


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