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Sexual Harassment at Work

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 2 Nov 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment At

The law makes it clear that sexual harassment is definitely not acceptable. Whilst there is no strict definition as to what constitutes sexual harassment, the Sex Discrimination Act gives you the legal right not to be sexually harassed at work and it is also unlawful to treat women (or men) less favourably because of their sex.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment constitutes any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature. It's not about fun or friendship but about the abuse of power. It is also worth bearing in mind that many people respond to situations in different ways. What may seem like an innocent action or remark to one person may be deemed offensive by another and the law sides with the 'victim' not the 'perpetrator'. Since there is no single definition, the test is how the recipient feels about the behaviour. Whilst men can also be subject to sexual harassment, the vast majority of cases have been by women against men. It is estimated that 50% of women in employment are, or have been, subject to sexual harassment of some form or other. It doesn't just happen to women who work in large offices or those who work within a predominantly male working environment; it can happen to people in any occupation, to any age group and from every community.

It can take place in many forms which can broadly be categorised in 3 groups:

Verbal

  • Comments about appearance, body or clothes
  • Indecent remarks
  • Questions or comments about your sex life
  • Requests for sexual favours
  • Sexual demands made by someone of the opposite sex, or even your own sex
  • Promises or threats concerning a person's employment conditions in return for sexual favours

Non-Verbal
  • Looking or staring at a person's body
  • Display of sexually explicit material such as calendars, pin ups or magazines

Physical
  • Physically touching, pinching, hugging, caressing, kissing
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape

What Can I do About Sexual Harassment?

In the first instance, you should try to confront the harasser. It may be that their perception of harassment is not the same as yours and they didn't realise you found their behaviour offensive. When you confront them you should:
  • Speak clearly and slowly, maintaining direct eye contact
  • Describe the behaviour, its effects on you and that you want it to stop
  • Ignore any attempts to trivialise or dismiss what you have to say
  • Don't smile or apologise. This will undermine your complaint
  • When you have finished what you want to say, walk away - the less you say, the more powerful you will be

However, you do need to speak up straight away. It may be that you choose a confidante, a colleague or union representative to give you moral support. They could also act as a witness to any incidents of improper behaviour.

If you feel you can't confront the harasser face to face, you might prefer to write to them to explain that their behaviour is making you feel uncomfortable and that you want it to stop. Keep a copy of the letter and let them know that if their behaviour persists, you will take the matter further.

Keep a Diary

Note down all the behaviour that offends you, the dates, times and location where the behaviour took place and if there were any other people present, keep a record of their names. This will help you if you need to make an official complaint.

What if it Continues?

Once you've confronted the perpetrator, if the behaviour continues you need to tell your employer. Many employers have a procedure - follow it. Your employer should investigate your complaint and deal with it. You have the right to take someone with you to any meetings about your complaint. They can back you up if necessary. Once again, keep a written record of everything that happens.

When and Why Should I Take my Case to a Tribunal?

Employment Tribunals are external committees who assess whether employers have acted unlawfully and seek to resolve the problem. You should go to a tribunal if:
  • The harassment continues after you've told the perpetrator to stop and you've reported it to your employer
  • The harasser owns the company and there's no-one else to complain to
  • If you are not happy with the way the investigation was handled and/or you are not satisfied with the outcome

You MUST File Your Complaint Within 3 Months of The Incident Taking Place.

The Employment Tribunals Commission and your local Citizen's Advice Bureau can offer you excellent guidance and advice about this type of complaint.

Sexual harassment at work threatens your confidence and self-esteem. It can stop you working effectively, undermines your dignity and it can affect your health and happiness.

Nobody should be subjected to it. Fortunately, a variety of laws exist to protect you.

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ELLY - 2-Nov-18 @ 2:06 AM
I worked with a man (my boss) who separated from his wife, came onto me, I accepted his advances, we text quite a bit but didn't see each other outside of work, I knew in the back of my head he would go back to his wife, he eventually did and we agreed to go back to friends no hard feelings. Things were fine for a while, then he started to complain to other staff and managers about me. One comment was particularly nasty and had sexual accusation to it. A meeting was called and he said it was just a joke. I want to know will the previous flirtation affect my rights?
Socks - 29-Oct-18 @ 9:09 PM
I was talking to 3 senior managers (all male) at work. One asked to cuddle me twice and I clearly said no twice. He wrapped his arms around me and put his head on my chest. I felt humiliated and degraded. I reported him as a few hours after the incident he told me he did it on purpose because he finds me cold and wanted to get me out of my comfort zone. After my grievance was badly handled I ended up on the sick with stress. I returned to find he hadn’t been moved whilst the incident was being investigated (he was the head of my dept). My grievance was eventually upheld and I was promised mediation so I could air my concerns to him. This was 2 years ago and due to being ignored by HR , mediation still hasn’t happened. I sent several emails to HR explaining how I was stressed at work due to the unresolved issues and the fact I still had to work for a man who touched me inappropriately. After waiting 2 years I started to get symptoms of depression and GAD ( work were aware that I have suffered these in the past) and I raised another grievance. I waited a year for the grievance outcome as the investigating officer then ignored me. She finally emailed me to say my grievance had been closed without my knowledge. This caused me to have a breakdown and another period of long term sick ( work related depression anxiety and stress). I have now been told it was ‘crossed wires ‘ and the man who touched me has now decided he doesn’t want to have mediation as he does not think it will help him! I have been put on half pay to force me back to work. I am now disabled, I have to take medication for GAD and depression and I can’t leave my house. I have been told that my sick won’t be treated as work related until I return ( therefore forcing me back). I have been suicidal at the way I have treated. I have been told I may be disciplined for being on long term sick . I have asked for reasonable adjustments ( none of which cost any money) and I have been told I will have to wait as they have to decide if they think they are reasonable . All I have asked for is my own desk ( everyone else has one ) and extra breaks if I am feeling anxious. However if I had a physical disability I would have been granted R.A. My disability was called a ‘difficulty’ by the owner of the company .Meanwhile the senior manager has a lovely new job and when he was told he wasn’t allowed to touch females at work he raised a grievance as he believes he did nothing wrong.
Jillian - 25-Oct-18 @ 9:41 PM
Caz - Your Question:
I have been sent a sexually grsphic video of naked women by a colleague can I make a claim against the company

Our Response:
Report this is in the way you would normally report sexual harassment as detailed in the above article.
SafeWorkers - 14-Sep-18 @ 2:55 PM
I have been sent a sexually grsphic video of naked women by a colleaguecan i make a claim against the company
Caz - 12-Sep-18 @ 1:54 PM
I am a young woman who was sexually harrassed and bullied at my workplace for a year. This guy was the same grade but would always pick on me above anyone else, this included throwing my stuff out my bag, sending snapchats of me with inappropriate captions to a public story, talking about me in a degrading light to management and spreading fictitious rumours about me and my relationship with juniors. Despite warning him to stop, he didn’t so I reported it to management who I thought let him off lightly with an informal warning. Given the circumstances, I didn’t think management took it very seriously. The whole incident really affected my wellbeing and performance at work. I work in a very pressured environment too so soon required councelling shortly after the ordeal. 8 months on and I am still affected, I feel uncomfortable when I am in the same room as this guy. I am not sure what I can do? I don’t want to leave right now as I am still in my training contract.
K - 17-Aug-18 @ 1:06 AM
Victim - Your Question:
I’m 14 years old and I work in a local shop where I live, the owner is an older man who I sometimes work with but I usually work with his son who I have no problems with.This man is in his 50s or 60s and is the worst to work with is always shouting and making me feel stupid and little and today he inappropriately touched me. He walked past me in one of the small isles and he is usually telling me to hurry up with my work, he walked past me said “come on you” and then slapped my ass, I am aware this is sexual harassment and as soon as it happened I told my older cousin and she wants to take action and phone the police but I don’t know if I should, is going to the police the right idea?

Our Response:
You could try talking to another senior employee if there is one, but it may be better to talk to someone at ACAS or Citizens' Advice.
SafeWorkers - 8-Aug-18 @ 2:46 PM
I’m 14 years old and I work in a local shop where I live, the owner is an older man who I sometimes work with but I usually work with his son who I have no problems with. This man is in his 50s or 60s and is the worst to work with is always shouting and making me feel stupid and little and today he inappropriately touched me. He walked past me in one of the small isles and he is usually telling me to hurry up with my work, he walked past me said “come on you” and then slapped my ass, I am aware this is sexual harassment and as soon as it happened I told my older cousin and she wants to take action and phone the police but I don’t know if I should, is going to the police the right idea?
Victim - 7-Aug-18 @ 7:33 PM
Ally - Your Question:
I’m 34 and there’s a guy at work in his fifties, married. I’m single. I’ve worked there a few years and this guy is really friendly and a favourite with people in the work place. I kind of look at him as a father figure-he always looks out for us all and makes sure everyone is ok. However, the past six or so months I’ve been made to feel very uncomfortable. Christmas time, saying good byes to everyone in the office, everyone hugs and says merry Xmas. He messaged me on fb saying’ do you hug everyone that hard or just me?’ I laughed it off and said everyone, have a good Xmas. When he comes over, he will put his hand on my arm but leave it there longer than he should. I’ve been on a diet before my holiday with my bf and he will make comments saying ‘there’s nothing wrong with me and I’m perfect as I am’. I stopped going near his office to chat to him and his work section like I used to because I feel uncomfortable and don’t want to encourage anything. He had to go away with work and sent me a message on fb saying he was thinking about me. There’s banter in the office, usually at my expense and he will finish with ‘I love you really’. A couple days ago, I was working at my computer on my own, I didn’t hear him come in behind me and I’m 70% certain he came behind me and kissed me on the back of the head and said just thought I’d pop and say hello. I know this would have been the perfect time to say something but I wasn’t 100% and was in shock to be honest. Originally I thought the guy is being overly friendly and kept my distance and didn’t respond to fb messages-the messages stopped. As silly as it sounds, I feel scared to say something in case it’s all innocent (although as I’m writing this, I know how it sounds and it’s not innocent!) and the fact everyone in the organisation likes him-if I complained, would I be treated seriously and would I be treated negatively by others??

Our Response:
If you feel uncomfortable you have to make a complaint - read the above article for more information. Talk to another colleague or your HR department if you're unsure.
SafeWorkers - 3-Aug-18 @ 12:33 PM
I’m 34 and there’s a guy at work in his fifties, married. I’m single. I’ve worked there a few years and this guy is really friendly and a favourite with people in the work place. I kind of look at him as a father figure-he always looks out for us all and makes sure everyone is ok. However, the past six or so months I’ve been made to feel very uncomfortable. Christmas time, saying good byes to everyone in the office, everyone hugs and says merry Xmas. He messaged me on fb saying’ do you hug everyone that hard or just me?’ I laughed it off and said everyone, have a good Xmas. When he comes over, he will put his hand on my arm but leave it there longer than he should. I’ve been on a diet before my holiday with my bf and he will make comments saying ‘there’s nothing wrong with me and I’m perfect as I am’. I stopped going near his office to chat to him and his work section like I used to because I feel uncomfortable and don’t want to encourage anything. He had to go away with work and sent me a message on fb saying he was thinking about me. There’s banter in the office, usually at my expense and he will finish with ‘I love you really’. A couple days ago, I was working at my computer on my own, I didn’t hear him come in behind me and I’m 70% certain he came behind me and kissed me on the back of the head and said just thought I’d pop and say hello. I know this would have been the perfect time to say something but I wasn’t 100% and was in shock to be honest. Originally I thought the guy is being overly friendly and kept my distance and didn’t respond to fb messages-the messages stopped. As silly as it sounds, I feel scared to say something in case it’s all innocent (although as I’m writing this, I know how it sounds and it’s not innocent!) and the fact everyone in the organisation likes him-if I complained, would I be treated seriously and would I be treated negatively by others??
Ally - 1-Aug-18 @ 3:16 AM
My friend was sexually harassed at work and when she told (her supervisor) to stop he reduced her hours - She reported this to her employer who invited her in for a meeting where they inferred she’s had made it up so she resigned and offered to work her notice but asked not to work with him. They then fired her for Gross Misconduct but ACAS had told her she can’t really do anything about it because she doesn’t have 2 years service? Surely this isn’t accurate when it comes to sexual harassmen which was incorporated into the equality act in 2010? Any ideas??
ERQ - 12-Jul-18 @ 4:51 PM
Recently a working relationship I had at work has broken down due to inappropriate messages via a social media platform. I work in a moderately sized business and the office where I work we are sort of quite pally with each other. A couple of months back a new manager joined the company who works quite close to where I manage my team. We did not really start speaking until Mid April on a personal level and I had sent this person a friend request on Facebook. Almost immediately this person had sent me a message but did not accept the friend request with comment saying I was Fb stalking. The conversation continued that evening and by the end of it this person shared that they were talking in the buff to me. That was the first sign really for me but I didn’t want to think anything of it and we continued to message through fb. On occasions this person would say things that was not quite explicitly inappropriate but it was weird and I could not quite put my finger on it. At work this person would say things like “talking with benefits” when I’d explained that I was speaking to another friend at the other side of the office or that this person was going to “point old percy at the porcelain cup” just before we went out for a drink. Behaviour that I fount quite strange and questioned but again girlies not to think too much into it. This person works way past the normal contracted hours like I do so I did see this person as hard working and really keen to out in the extra hours. Early May at a works party it was his person’s first work function. I was told by someone else that this person had a partner which explained the reason for the fb friend request not being accepted. That night through fb again I made the point to ask them if they had a partner. Over the course of a couple of hours this person would not tell. Said things to gather information of who was asking. Turned it round to explain that I was attractive and would not be interested. The next day this person did tell me they had a partner and from then the conversation started to get more relaxed but less frequent. We completed some training together which resulted in a conversation that caused a lil concern. I’d messsged this person to check if they were ok and this person response suggested they may have had a tough day. I tried to make s suggestion which involved drinking “gin” and asked about their partner. This person advised they had more effective methods and that they can multi-task and that I was not pestering. Then this person mentioned that it was a technical method. Alarm bells did start to ring but the playful person I am, I’d just tried to ignore the fact that he was referring to something of a sexual nature. This person and I talked for hours that night and they suggested that it was less lonely when I talk to them. We talked about various stuff until the conversation took a turn when I gave a joke about running outside in next to n
Cece - 29-Jun-18 @ 9:27 PM
I'm male and I'm being sexually harassed and bulliedat Work by other males. threw gossip and lies Everyone seems to believe them even my assistant manager and manager have joined in to bully and sexually harrase me I've put in 1 complaint to head office and after an investigation i won and 3people received final written warnings but they still continue now they are putting complaints to management about me even though they have no evidence against me .just definitely feal my only option is a legal 1 at 39 years old I never thought I'd still be bullied and picked on and I have had enough.
Danny - 7-Jun-18 @ 7:07 PM
My partner works for a coffee chain. She was touched by a customer in an inappropriate way. He ran his fingers and nails up her arm. Her manager says he is not all there and has done nothing about it. My partner says it's an act and other female co workers agree. The perpetrator continues to come into the coffee shop and make overly suggestive comments and my partners appearance as well as stare at her for long periods. My partner feels helpless and that she has no choice but to stop working there. What can she do?
CaptainBob - 24-May-18 @ 8:35 PM
My boss asked me to attend an international event with him. We had to share a hotel room as we have limited finances. He began talking about sex and relationships, which I replied to with limited answers. Later in then day I told him that I felt uncomfortable sharing the room with him and that I didn’t want to put myself in that situation. He told me that he had no sexual intentions and that I could trust him. Later in the evening (2am!) he woke me up to tell me that he did want sex and that he liked me. I said that our relationship was strictly professional and that he should not cross that boundary. As it is just him and I in our normal office, how do I continue from here? I don’t want to quit my job but I don’t know how to face him after this.
Ontrain - 20-May-18 @ 9:44 PM
My boss is the owner of the company he makes my skin crawl made me a director I work part time he’s a joke
Nome - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:03 AM
juls - Your Question:
I was out yesterday on a co workers leaving do. there was a few of us but at about 10 pm one of the co workers felt me up and put his hand betwen my legs. I dont have proof or any witnesses is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
If it's awork-related/work organised social event, the Equality Act says your employer still has a duty to stop your colleagues from harassing you. Take a trusted colleague for moral support if you don't feel comfortable about reporting this directly yourself - but do report it to your manager or HR department.
SafeWorkers - 17-Apr-18 @ 9:20 AM
I was out yesterday on a co workers leaving do. there was a few of us but at about 10 pm one of the co workers felt me up and put his hand betwen my legs.. I dont have proof or any witnesses is there anything i can do?
juls - 16-Apr-18 @ 12:27 AM
Barbi - Your Question:
Hi there,I need advice. I work for a small company, we are four people. Last week we went out for lunch and then went to the pub. We're two girls and two guys. Myself and the other girl went for drinks with one of the guys who ended up giving us cocaine and then sexually assaulted my colleague in his car and then tried to coerce me into having sex with him too. I am scared and because of technical issues I had to move to the desk right next to him. I am in a constant state of panic and anxiety. I want to go to my boss but this incident affects my female colleague more than me and she doesn't want to go to our boss. Also I took drugs as well on that day so I'm scared I may get in trouble for that. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure I can talk to my boss without telling him about what happened to my female colleague too. What should I do?I suffered from depression and anxiety in the past and I am still in medication for it but this is slowly pushing me over the edge and I feel like I might have a full blown breakdown at work. Please let me know where I can get advice. Thank you!

Our Response:
We've answered this below. And deleted the other three identical posts you've made.
SafeWorkers - 11-Apr-18 @ 3:22 PM
Hi there, I need advice. I work for a small company, we are four people. Last week we went out for lunch and then went to the pub. We're two girls and two guys. Myself and the other girl went for drinks with one of the guys who ended up giving us cocaine and then sexually assaulted my colleague in his car and then tried to coerce me into having sex with him too. I am scared and because of technical issues I had to move to the desk right next to him. I am in a constant state of panic and anxiety. I want to go to my boss but this incident affects my female colleague more thanme and she doesn't want to go to our boss. Also I took drugs as well on that day so I'm scared I may get in trouble for that. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure I can talk to my boss without telling him about what happened to my female colleague too. What should I do? I suffered from depression and anxiety in the past and I am still in medication for it but this is slowly pushing me over the edge and I feel like I might have a full blown breakdown at work. Please let me know where I canget advice. Thank you!
Barbi - 11-Apr-18 @ 3:04 PM
Barbi - Your Question:
Hi there,I need advice. I work for a small company, we are four people. Last week we went out for lunch and then went to the pub. We're two girls and two guys. Myself and the other girl went for drinks with one of the guys who ended up giving us cocaine and then sexually assaulted my colleague in his car and then tried to coerce me into having sex with him too. I am scared and because of technical issues I had to move to the desk right next to him. I am in a constant state of panic and anxiety. I want to go to my boss but this incident affects my female colleague more than me and she doesn't want to go to our boss. Also I took drugs as well on that day so I'm scared I may get in trouble for that. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure I can talk to my boss without telling him about what happened to my female colleague too. What should I do?I suffered from depression and anxiety in the past and I am still in medication for it but this is slowly pushing me over the edge and I feel like I might have a full blown breakdown at work. Please let me know where I can get advice. Thank you!

Our Response:
If you feel you should report it you should do so, we can't really advise on the situation with your female colleague or the drugs, but you should talk to her and make a decision on what you want to do next. You clearly can't carry on as you are. As for who to get more advice from, ACAS is good for employment rights etc, and Citizens' Advice might be a good start for the other aspects.
SafeWorkers - 11-Apr-18 @ 2:12 PM
Hi there, I need advice. I work for a small company, we are four people. Last week we went out for lunch and then went to the pub. We're two girls and two guys. Myself and the other girl went for drinks with one of the guys who ended up giving us cocaine and then sexually assaulted my colleague in his car and then tried to coerce me into having sex with him too. I am scared and because of technical issues I had to move to the desk right next to him. I am in a constant state of panic and anxiety. I want to go to my boss but this incident affects my female colleague more thanme and she doesn't want to go to our boss. Also I took drugs as well on that day so I'm scared I may get in trouble for that. I don't know what to do. I'm not sure I can talk to my boss without telling him about what happened to my female colleague too. What should I do? I suffered from depression and anxiety in the past and I am still in medication for it but this is slowly pushing me over the edge and I feel like I might have a full blown breakdown at work. Please let me know where I canget advice. Thank you!
Barbi - 11-Apr-18 @ 1:33 PM
Mop- Your Question:
A man I've worked with for years and always respected for his knowledge of our job has recently started to touch my bottom when I walk past him !The first time he did it I just said to him hands off and walked away !It's happened 3 times since then !On 1 occasion an other colleague saw him do it as I was walking past him to go outside !Then this week I was stood with my back to the wall when he walked past and he run his hand across my legs then later that day leaned over me and whispered hello sexy in my hear ! I just ignored him and walked away !I'm worried if I report him at work that this will get bad for me ! As he's worked there for 50 years and well respected by everyone ! myself for 27 years and to my knowledge he's never done anything like this before !I just don't know what to do for the best ! I want it to stop but don't want to make things awkward at work !My husband is fuming and threatening to come to work to sort him out ! I don't want that either ! Has anyone any idea what I can do ?

Our Response:
Is there someone else you can talk to about this at your work? If not, you really have no choice but to report it. Your employer may be able to resolve this so that your colleague is made aware that it is unacceptable behaviour and should not repeat it (if that's what you're comfortable with).
SafeWorkers - 27-Mar-18 @ 12:44 PM
A man I've worked with for years and always respected for his knowledge of our job has recently started to touch my bottom when I walk past him ! The first time he did it I just said to him hands off and walked away ! It's happened 3 times since then ! On 1 occasion an other colleague saw him do it as I was walking past him to go outside ! Then this week I was stood with my back to the wall when he walked past and he run his hand across my legs then later that day leaned over me and whispered hello sexy in my hear ! I just ignored him and walked away ! I'm worried if I report him at work that this will get bad for me ! As he's worked there for 50 years and well respected by everyone ! myself for 27 years and to my knowledge he's never done anything like this before ! I just don't know what to do for the best ! I want it to stop but don't want to make things awkward at work ! My husband is fuming and threatening to come to work to sort him out ! I don't want that either ! Has anyone any idea what I can do ?
Mop - 24-Mar-18 @ 9:31 PM
@Charlie. It may be too late tomake a formal complaint of sexual harassment but it may be useful to highlight these activities to prevent others from being subjected to similar treatment?
Lateteen Eighteen - 30-Jan-18 @ 12:55 PM
Foolishly I didn’t log any incidents and felt too intimidated to speak up as it was the owner of the company I work for who was the harasser. Sexual remarks were made when I fell pregnant (my partner also works for same company) remarks about my daughters conception, quite explicit. He would touch me if he walked past me and when I called in to pick something up while on maternity leavehe crept up behind me pulled my hair away from my neck and whispered close to my skin. It made me feel sick. Leaving work one day while pregnant he unzipped my coat to touch my tummy after I’d repeatedly refused to let him during the day when he’d tried to. Works Christmas party tonight with an award ceremony,a new award was created this year for best stag 3 of the guys that work for company who’s wives are expecting or have just had babies were given stag head trophy’s and packs of condoms. Unfortunately I’ve got so many more examples from working there I could share but there we go. I’m sad for the friends I’ll leave behind but in many ways very glad to be leaving. The owner encourages a culture of sexual hostility and bullies and intimidates to get his own way.Never thought I’d be made to feel that way working anywhere,it is 2018 after all.
Charlie - 29-Jan-18 @ 12:35 AM
I have a cousin who suffers from depression and anxiety she works in a mix office and one of her male colleague often text her outside of work about how she is feeling because of her mental health conditions recently he's been sending messages containing many sexual content towards her unfortunately my cousin cannot see that this is leading 2 sexual harassment or this guy wants sex with her even though he is a married person with a family. how can I best approach my cousin so that her eyes can be fully open and be aware of the situation, as she has already had someone close to her that she knows attempted to rape rape her. she doesn't do herself as sexually attractive or her body to be beautiful because of her depression, she actually hates her body and hates herself but she cannot see how beautiful she is she carries herself with natural Elegance elegance when she walks and this is has a real sexual appeal towards the opposite sex. she cannot see this in herself, she think that she is not sexy she doesn't walk sexy, whatever she wears whatever she puts on she looks elegant in it. because she carries herself really welli I am afraid that this work colleague is going to take her in her confidence and take advantage of her mental situation and try to have sex with her I want to see the danger before this happens how can I help her.
None - 8-Jan-18 @ 11:36 AM
Blondie - Your Question:
Hi,I have been sexually harassed by a fellow colleague at work, on the first incident he wouldn't leave me alone on the shift which I thought was friendly banter, he later started messaging me out of work asking me out for a drink as mates and I said fine. He then started sending me sexually explicit images of himself and asking me sexual questions about other colleagues via Facebook, I generally ignored these messages and told him I wasn't interested in being his friend. When I was next on shift with him, he wouldn't leave me alone again and started telling me I was showing too much skin because my top button was undone, calling me gorgeous, and telling other colleagues I was flirting with him. A manager came to me and said am I comfortable working with him? To which I said I could handle him. I told him I wasn't interested in him again and told him to leave me alone which he did for two weeks. He then started messaging me again out of work, asking me out on a date, getting mad at me when I declined and asking who I liked instead and getting mad when I said nobody and then starting to swear at me. I said I would be his mate which he was fine with, but then he started talking sexually again so I told him to leave me alone.I then told another colleague who took it to our boss, who said we are adults and what we get up to on facebook is our business, made me have a face to face conversation with him and told me he was only trying to get a woman. I still have to work with him and the guy is now gloating about the fact he has got away with it when nobody's around. I have now refused to work with him and the boss told me when he gloats e.g. Laughs laugh back at him, and all this started because someone else brought it to us not you, basically that you was happy until your colleague complained about him? The boss is unwilling to do anything because it was out of work and because I said I could handle it it's a grey area? Is this the case or can I do something?

Our Response:
If the harassment is ongoing you note down specific examples and report it again (you must do this within 3 months of the event). If you're not happy with the action taken - consider taking it further as described in the article. Our guide: Sexual Harassment - Your Questions Answered might also help.
SafeWorkers - 3-Jan-18 @ 2:22 PM
Hi, I have been sexually harassed by a fellow colleague at work, on the first incident he wouldn't leave me alone on the shift which I thought was friendly banter, he later started messaging me out of work asking me out for a drink as mates and I said fine. He then started sending me sexually explicit images of himself and asking me sexual questions about other colleagues via Facebook, I generally ignored these messages and told him I wasn't interested in being his friend. When I was next on shift with him, he wouldn't leave me alone again and started telling me I was showing too much skin because my top button was undone, calling me gorgeous, and telling other colleagues I was flirting with him. A manager came to me and said am I comfortable working with him? To which I said I could handle him. I told him I wasn't interested in him again and told him to leave me alone which he did for two weeks. He then started messaging me again out of work, asking me out on a date, getting mad at me when I declined and asking who I liked instead and getting mad when I said nobody and then starting to swear at me. I said I would be his mate which he was fine with, but then he started talking sexually again so I told him to leave me alone. I then told another colleague who took it to our boss, who said we are adults and what we get up to on facebook is our business, made me have a face to face conversation with him and told me he was only trying to get a woman. I still have to work with him and the guy is now gloating about the fact he has got away with it when nobody's around. I have now refused to work with him and the boss told me when he gloats e.g. Laughs laugh back at him, and all this started because someone else brought it to us not you, basically that you was happy until your colleague complained about him? The boss is unwilling to do anything because it was out of work and because I said I could handle it it's a grey area? Is this the case or can I do something?
Blondie - 30-Dec-17 @ 9:58 PM
Hi, I am being sexually harrassed by my manager at a food establishment, but im scared to report it as I receive cash in hand for the shift I do. I have had the manager come onto me more than once and ive made my position very clear that im there to work my one shift and nothing else, I have received messages that state he would like to make love to me and that its a friend helpping a friend out !!!! Again ive told him its crossing a line and makes me uncomfortable , what can I do without getting into too much trouble myself.
Jollyjulie - 22-Dec-17 @ 5:55 AM
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