Sexual harrassment? - page 4

by Flamingonurse

5,400 Views | 42 Comments

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


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    When the person decided to tell his charge he was sexting, and then showing her a picture of same, is where the line was crossed. As charge, responsibility lies in the good of the patients and floor. The correct thing was done, as what the OP describes is, in fact, sexual harrassment. If she spoke to him, then he chose to share with a couple more co-workers, who then said "I was sexually harrassed and my charge nurse saw what he was doing and did nothing but speak to him" it could have left the charge nurse holding the bag.

    A policy should be put into place to have all cell phones turned off until one's breaks. With a disciplinary process in place for those who do not abide by those rules. ie: verbal, written, suspension, etc. And this should perhaps be put into place prior to the return of the employee. Sexting or not, it is irritating to have people texting in report, in rooms, in the hall, at the nurses station when you are trying to speak to them--enough is enough. So, he should perhaps be given a chance to redeem himself, and keep his job, lesson learned, but he needs to abide by the policy like everyone else.

    Sexual harrassment it seems is one of the most under-reported situations ever--due to "awwww, I was just JOKING" or whatever comments. And in this instance, the charge nurse is held a a higher standard of conduct. It amazes me the excuses that we will make for someone who participates in this type of behavior. Guess what, he did MEAN it, he was grossly inappropriate, and his actions have consequences--real world stuff here.....
    wgc2345678 likes this.
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    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment.

    This is the legal dictionary's term of sexual harrassment. It is for most part of their "mandatory day" or orientation training. It is highly subjective in nature, and bottom line is that until we stop making people feel badly for reporting sexual behaviors at work that they find offensive, sexual harrassment protection is not worth the piece of paper it is written on.
    Would anyone feel differently if the person had shown another co-worker who then brought it to the charge nurses attention? Then what was she to do with that information? She had the information, she is required to report it, and it was adminstration who chose the discipline, not her.
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    Quote from Flamingonurse
    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 to be placed on 2 week suspension. Fellow collegues, do you think this employee should be able to keep his job?
    This sounds like a simple male bashing post. As a man I can tell that lots of information has been omitted from this post. First of all, no man in his right mind with just walk up to his charge nurse aka boss and start showing nude photos to a female of his sexual exploits, men usually keep it amoungst themselves or if its to a girl, its a girl who is "one of the guys". So until you give the whole story noone here can give you any input that is of value.

    You and this male must of had some sort of history or some sort of close relationship for him to think of you are "one of the guys" because that is what he is doing, unless he needs psychiatric treatment. Did you also engaged in some sort of unethical or sexually related conversation prior to this for that topic of sexting to even come up??? or u just accidentally caught him in the act?, unless he needs psychiatric treatment. So I'll say it again, give us the whole story.

    If it's as simple as the 3 sentences you gave us to read, then yes he should be suspended, provided that you let him know upfront about your opinion and were not an active participant and or at least given an initial verbal warning. As far as harrassment policies goes, no employee is fired unless the person continues his unwanted behavior after initial suspension, but its would all depend on you works harrassment policies.So I'll say it again, give us the whole story.

    If I were stupid, I would say that before you were charge nurse, this was the usual way this person normally acts, you had objection but the other nurses did not but you never voiced your objections,because you were friends or maybe just did not want too and now that you are charge nurse you are in a position to "fix it". Does this person have prior incidents like this on his file? Normally a suspension only takes place after the person has broken an initaial written up warning. Once again too many gaps in this post and too little information. I'm not defending this guy...some men are total a***holes but given the information posted its just weird, I mean actively engaging? does that mean you accidentally caught him in the act?

    Edit:
    I work with a bunch of guys and there was always one guy who had vulgar stuff to say after meetings, being Christian I normally would just leave the room, they all know perverted talk offends me and I let them talk their nonsense. But one day the guy walks up directly to me and said something totally vulgar that had Obama, in it. I got upset, he thought I was thinking he was a racist, but that was not it, it was just a totally perverted joke, worse than anything he said before. Instead of pulling him aside I just lost it and told the guy, hey dont come around me telling me your crazy perverted jokes that I got no interest in and to show some respect for his coworkers. Everyone was shocked I was yelling becuase I'm normally quiet. From that day, he never spoke like that again. Yes I was wrong to embarrass him in front of the whole crew, but my point is if someone offends you,even if they think its funny, say something about it, be firm, be clear and make it end...dont even let it get to a point where they need to be suspended, unless they refuse to change.
    Last edit by man-nurse2b on Sep 30, '12 : Reason: added info
    Altra, FMF Corpsman, and anotherone like this.
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    The guy is a dork.
    Sexting is dumb.
    Sexting at work is dumber.
    Sexting at work and showing somebody is dumbest.

    OP- please elaborate. How is this is harassment?

    And- honest answer: If you saw female rn #1 showing female rn #2 a picture on her phone from last nights batchelorette party, what would you do?

    If you work in an environment in which the above would be severely punished, then by all means hold this dork to that standard.

    Alernately, you could tell him: That's inapropriate. Don't do it again.
    Elladora, Altra, and Wild Irish LPN like this.
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    Quote from rivershark2005
    It may very well not be my place to chime in here, but I'm going to anyway.

    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.

    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 agree with most of your post rivershark2005 and the day you partake in any sexual conversations with your coworkers, even if they ALL say it is ok, even if your charge nurse invites you too, trust me, it would be the end of your career in nursing or any career for that matter...possibly even criminal action and in addition to being donned a sexual predator.

    Fifty shades of grey is totally inappropriate for the workplace, its like a male bringing a playboy magazine to work. But who are male nurses going to report this too? The female charge nurse or female DON? They will not take a complaint about fifty shades of grey seriously...men always get the harsher treatment in harrassment cases. I think all of this is less about harrassment and more about power.
    coco.nut, morte, and Wild Irish LPN like this.
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    it isn't harrassment because it lacks repition.
    Quote from jadelpn
    When the person decided to tell his charge he was sexting, and then showing her a picture of same, is where the line was crossed. As charge, responsibility lies in the good of the patients and floor. The correct thing was done, as what the OP describes is, in fact, sexual harrassment. If she spoke to him, then he chose to share with a couple more co-workers, who then said "I was sexually harrassed and my charge nurse saw what he was doing and did nothing but speak to him" it could have left the charge nurse holding the bag.

    A policy should be put into place to have all cell phones turned off until one's breaks. With a disciplinary process in place for those who do not abide by those rules. ie: verbal, written, suspension, etc. And this should perhaps be put into place prior to the return of the employee. Sexting or not, it is irritating to have people texting in report, in rooms, in the hall, at the nurses station when you are trying to speak to them--enough is enough. So, he should perhaps be given a chance to redeem himself, and keep his job, lesson learned, but he needs to abide by the policy like everyone else.

    Sexual harrassment it seems is one of the most under-reported situations ever--due to "awwww, I was just JOKING" or whatever comments. And in this instance, the charge nurse is held a a higher standard of conduct. It amazes me the excuses that we will make for someone who participates in this type of behavior. Guess what, he did MEAN it, he was grossly inappropriate, and his actions have consequences--real world stuff here.....
  7. 0
    While it seems clear there is a double standard, I think part of its existence is because men don't report it when women make them uncomfortable by their topics of conversation. Maybe they aren't uncomfortable? If they are, though, reporting it and having it go through whatever channels there are, could help reduce the double standard.

    The point is, if someone is uncomfortable due to something another says, in a sexual context, it's not ok. It needs to be addressed. It also needs to be addressed in the way that works for the benefit of all, and follow whatever protocol has been set up. Losing work for 2 weeks is a huge punishment for what Joe Nurse did, I think. That could mean he won't be able to pay rent that month!
  8. 0
    Quote from Flamingonurse
    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 to be placed on 2 week suspension. Fellow collegues, do you think this employee should be able to keep his job?
    It isn’t clear to me how the Charge Nurse knew the guy was sexting to begin with. Nowhere in her original post is there any reference to it. Just the statement where she was required to “right” (sic) him up. The OP is new to AN, this is only her second post and looking on her profile I see she is a BSN from Phoenix, I’m wondering if she has much experience as a Nurse. I have to wonder, because it appears she has abandoned the thread after posting her original. Her actions and even her questions on the board here, certainly bring up more questions than they answer, because they aren’t those of a seasoned Charge Nurse or even those of a veteran Nurse period. Unless there was a banter back and forth, how did she even know he was sexting? Unless there was a familiarity between them, why would he show his Charge Nurse, a photo of a half-nude woman on his cell phone? Unless perhaps, she was attracted to ham and jealous of his not paying attention to her, be so adamant about being required to “right” (sic) him up. No one else obviously knew what had played out in the nurse’s station, unless she had told them. As I said, more questions than answers here. Maybe she doesn’t have the experience behind her to support the position she’s in, who knows, and apparently she’s not going to tell us either.
    Last edit by FMF Corpsman on Sep 30, '12 : Reason: HTML tags
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    Quote from morte
    it isn't harrassment because it lacks repition.
    It doesn't need repetition. Or perhaps in my state our laws are stricter. But the fact that he told her (?? maybe he did, maybe he didn't maybe she "caught" him) he was sexting and showing pics is sexual harrassment. Period. That someone is reading "50 Shades" on their break is not, however, should someone start reading out loud, then that is a different story. Men need to speak up as well when someone starts going into detail about their escapades the night before. It is not a power thing, it is a law thing--and the law is really clear on ANY sort of talk, joking, innuendo regarding anything of a sexual nature that makes another person uncomfortable is considered sexual harrassment.
    That the OP left out some key aspects of this is troubling. But it was clear that she said she was required to report it. Perhaps a co-worker came to her with a complaint over this man, and when she was speaking to him about it, he showed her. I dunno that without more info. But when facilities really start taking a firm stand on sexual harrassment, then we will all be surprised as to exactly what that entails. Equally as surprised if we read the current sexual harrassment policy in our employee handbooks and exactly what that entails....It is mind boggling what it covers.
    Altra likes this.
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    Quote from jadelpn
    It doesn't need repetition. Or perhaps in my state our laws are stricter. But the fact that he told her (?? maybe he did, maybe he didn't maybe she "caught" him) he was sexting and showing pics is sexual harrassment. Period.
    Actually, no. It does require repetition; the law against sexual harassment--a federal one--is defined in part by the EEOC (thanks, Altra!!):
    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).

    Pretty safe to say that this wasn't so severe that it rendered the OP incapable of functioning from that moment on. And she herself said it was a single, isolated incident. Nothing she was subjected to more than one single time, and certainly not severe enough completely debilitate her. So no....there is no "harassment". Just a lapse in judgment on the part of Joe Nurse.
    Gold_SJ, morte, and Sun0408 like this.


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