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Sexual Harassment Training and Education

I was interested in going for a cup of coffee or something with a woman who works here, and I have asked her a few times but she keeps saying "no." Now my supervisor has told me that she is going to make a claim of sexual harassment unless I stop doing this. How can that be? I'm not pressuring or threatening her. I won't ask her out again, but this seems wrong. What do you think?

Although you believe that it is wrong for a female co-worker to consider a claim of sexual harassment against you for repeatedly asking her out, it is your understanding of sexual harassment that is wrong. Although you are not pressuring or threatening this fellow employee, your actions are unwanted, sexually oriented, and apparently creating a hostile environment for her. That can lead to a claim of sexual harassment.

It is surprising that your company has not provided more training in this area. In fact, companies in various states, such as California, are required to provide training in sexual harassment prevention for all supervisory personnel. There is a good deal of personal as well as corporate exposure in this area, and the time to find out about it should not be when you are on the verge of a claim.

Either way, you have been warned and it sounds like you have heeded the warning. Put in the style of Gertrude Stein, when it comes to any unwanted sexually oriented behaviors at work, a no is a no is a no.

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