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Sexual Harassment Assertiveness Feedback

I work with several other employees in the warehouse. By the end of the day, some of us have achy muscles. My question is what to do about a coworker who says he knows all about acupressure and can soothe our muscles. He comes up behind us and squeezes our shoulders and back. Some of the employees like it, but I do not and I have told him not to do this to me any more. He still tries once in a while.

Your co-worker may know all about acupressure, but he knows nothing about the huge liability associated with touching other people against their will. He may call it acupressure, but others may just as easily call it intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, or even assault and battery.

And further, there are some employees who have borderline physical ailments that should only be attended to by trained medical personnel. What would happen if your finger-happy co-worker goes to work on an employee's back and something goes "pop?" What if that person is suddenly unable to move?

You should immediately discuss this situation with your manager. Most managers today will quickly understand the exposure that is associated with what your co-worker is doing. A failure by management to take action in this kind of situation would only increase their potential exposure.

You were absolutely right to tell this acupressure player to keep his hands off you, and management should clearly reinforce this message. At the very least, management needs to direct this individual to start handling his job responsibilities and stop handling his co-workers.

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