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Jokes and Jokers Sexual Harassment

I like to make jokes and double entendres, and one of the women who work with me said some of my comments sound sexual and she does not appreciate them. She said if it continues, she will report it to my manager. If she takes my comments as being sexually oriented, I think that's her problem. Am I right or wrong?

Wrong. If she takes your comments as being sexually oriented, it is more your problem than hers. When it comes to sexual harassment, interpretation trumps intent. If she perceives your comments as being unwanted and sexually oriented, that is enough for her to contend that she is being sexually harassed. It sounds like you may be targeting her, and your comments could also be construed as creating a hostile environment.

If you are truly shocked that some of your words can have a sexual connotation, you should step back and honestly assess what you have been saying. If it is practically impossible to find any kind of sexual connotation in your remarks, you should write them down and be ready to discuss them with your manager in the event that your associate reports this incident.

The problem is that it may be hard to believe that you did not know that your double entendres could have a sexually offensive side. After all, the fact that you know your comment is a double entendre implies that you understand both meanings of whatever you are saying. Either way, it is time for your double entendres to end.

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