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  1. Emmzzi I think you are reading this the wrong way. Please re-read my post(s) and try to understand where I am coming from. I agree that no woman deserves to be harassed at work. What I am saying is that what I did cannot be classed as harassment given the circumstances and my actions and you cannot pigeon hole me in the same category as someone who is seriously harassing someone just because they use the same vocabulary as I did. I don't want to reiterate this point, but I do feel if a girl is uncomfortable by any ones actions, she should complain. She is an adult, after all. I hope this doesn't come across in the wrong way. You seemed to have got it in your head from the start that this is a clear case of harassment, and you are not prepared to hear anything to the contrary. Off course I am not a lawyer so I do not know exactly how a tribunal would take to the evidence, if it ever went that far. Please explain to me how, in your words, 'this is text book sexual harassment'. If you re-read my previous post, you will notice that I say 'I am certainly a lot more careful of how I treat the female members of staff after this experience'. - in other words, I have learned my lesson, that even the most innocent of actions can be taken out of context one day and used against you and it is best to keep romance outside of work because unfortunately, there are people out there that share your view..
  2. EXACTLY- unless it's UNWANTED contact as has been pointed out. In which case, its easy to make it very clear to the person in question that this type of behaviour is unwelcome and needs to stop. This can be done in a variety of ways (talking to the boss, talking directly to the person, refraining from being so friendly to the person, limiting contact with other staff members in front of other work colleagues). She has to somehow indicate that this type of thing is not appropriate to her. Otherwise, how can anyone assume anything is wrong. Hugging is a means to show affection, to bond with a colleague, to show warmth.. which all serve to enhance the working environment in my opinion- unless its used in the wrong way- as with anything there is a limit. Perhaps every staff member should be made aware upon start of employment, that this is the procedure if you feel any harassment occurring in the work place, no matter how minuscule. First you need to do this, then you need to this etc. Don't get me wrong, I am only referring to mild physical contact of the universally acceptable nature such light touching on the shoulders, hugging etc. Off course, to avoid any potential problems it is best to avoid contact all together. A lot of depends on calibration, experience of the manager, knowing where to draw the lines, and how to keep staff engaged whilst at the same time maintaining distance. Thanks a lot for your help and opinion on this guys..
  3. There is definitely not a case of harassment here, at least not how I see it. The girl in question has never made any complaint about me. I suspect she only told her friends at work to 'blow her own trumpet' so to speak and to brag..and most haven't reacted to it, but only this one girl, who I think its because either she is jealous or has another reason for not liking the situation.. As I mentioned, the girl I like is a friendly type of girl, not just to me, but to others in the store as well. She has been seen by everyone to be acting friendly towards more than one member of staff by giving them lots of hugs during work hours, and in front of everyone, telling everyone how much she misses them when they are not there. That does not excuse anyone getting the wrong idea off course, but my actions can never be classed as anything more than showing favouritism, i.e. it looks clear that by my actions (spending more time with her, talking to her more, being more friendly) than I am favouring her more than others (and showing my true feelings for her)- but certainly not harassment. The most I have done is give her a couple of friendly hugs, like you do to a friend, and sent her some flirtatious texts. All this in the course of knowing and working with her for a year and half. I do agree that perhaps she is not the type of girl to tell someone to back off when she wants to, but to be honest this is more her issue, and she has to learn to stand up and tell someone 'look this is making me uncomfortable, please take a step back', and then if that person doesn't listen she will have grounds to make an official complaint. So yeah.. I don't want to end up the subject of a grievance, because it doesn't look good on me and my work..and especially something that is not worth it.. Also, this is exactly what she wants to do, to make me look bad and then tell everyone what she did. I think my best approach in this situation is to leave it, and let things settle, and hopefully move on from it. I know its going to be hard dealing with her in the future because of this, because she will always have this to fall back on if things dont go her way. Thank you for the feedback, much appreciated.
  4. Thank you very much Sidewinder. As you put it exactly, I must be seen to be treating everybody equally. Although this is sometimes hard to do, because the girl in question is in a position of management whereas the other one is not. I should have called her bluff, and given her the number of my superior so she can complain. I feel now she has me in a corner so to speak, because its hard for me to tell her anything as I don't know if she will twist it one way or another. However I really didn't want my boss finding about this, not because I have necessarily done anything wrong (I may have acted too friendly to her at times) but because I its not going to look good on me as a supervisor. I found it rude that she called me 'pervy' because I know for a fact other members of staff don't find me so, and are actually quite friendly towards me. She is just out to make trouble because things are not going her way. I don't want to have a chat with the girl I am keen on because I am worried that anything I say to her now will go back to the other people. I would rather just forget about her and move in, partly because I don't think she shares the feelings towards me that I do her. She has got me in this position indirectly by telling everyone exactly what has been happening. I am certainly a lot more careful of how I treat the female members of staff after this experience. So in conclusion, from what I understand, legally there is nothing she can do, especially without the support of the other girl, however, it would still not be good for me if she went to my boss and told him. One question, if she was serious about this, should I suggest to her she follows the necessary procedure and file a grievance? Thanks once again.
  5. Hi Guys I am in need for some serious advice. I will try to keep the story as short and as concise as possible Basically I manage a take away shop with around 20 employees. I have become very fond of one of the girls that works there, who is also in a position of management (below me,I am her boss). I have done things like indirectly telling her I like her. Giving her hugs. Getting her a small present when I am on holiday. She is a friendly type of girl also and likes to mess around and joke around. She is a lot younger than me,by around 10'years, and is in her late teens. It seems that, without my knowledge, everything that has been happening between us, she has been telling other colleagues at work. The things I have been texting her, what I have been saying (nothing overtly sexual or anything, just simple things during the course of text conversation like telling her I think she is a nice girl..that kind of thing). I have never come out and told her directly that I like her or want anything more. I thought everything we talk about would remain private but I guess this kind of shows her immaturity. Now this is where the story gets interesting.. There is another girl there, who is a friend of hers. She has been taking in everything that has been going on, but has never mentioned anything about it. Until now, when I asked her to do some cleaning in the store (which is normal) and she refused based on the fact that she has never been asked to clean before and it is 'not in her job description'. This set her off and she started telling me how ****ed off she was with everything and how she was going to complain to someone higher than me. She accused me of being a little bit 'pervy', and that she knows everything that has been going on. She thinks I am abusing my position and not drawing the boundaries as someone who is in charge. She is the same age as the other girl. I think part of the problem here is perhaps her jealousy, the fact that she hasn't received this much attention from me. I don't know. She is a little bit jealous that the other girl has progressed and she hasn't but to be honest her work standards are no where near the other girls. So my question: 1- can she make a complaint about me based on what she has heard I have said to this other girl or the fact that I have given her hugs? Can she complain on someone else's behalf? Bearing in mind the girl in question has never mentioned anything and we still have a great working relationship..? She was like I don't think this is appropriate behaviour for a person in charge and I feel you are crossing boundaries..but what's it to her? I told her that if I made this other girl feel so uncomfortable, then why has she never complained to me about it? 2 - what do you do when someone *believes* they are being mistreated, even though you know for sure you are not mis treating them, but it is their bad behaviour that is causing you to take action and reprimand them? People seem to play the "I am being discriminated against" far too easily these days, even when there is no grounds for it.. She was saying things like "you don't like me, you never have anything good to say about me, you always criticise me''.. And then she was like "it's the way you looked at me when you asked me to clean, the way you spoke to me..like I am a piece of s*%#$.".... I definitely didnt do either of those things..i am very careful about how I talk to people.. How do you tacle the 'I am being dicriminated against' argument.. 3 - she is threatening to go to my boss to "tell him everything that has been going on" ..as potentially she knows this will be bad news for me.. I am wondering where I stand legally.. Is there anything that could potentially get me in trouble here bearing in mind she hasn't made anything official yet? I dont know to act now.. 4 - how do you act when the girl in question is friendly in nature.. I.e, she keeps hitting me with things, play fighting.. Stuff like that.. Any advice you can give me would be really appreciated... I am worried about my reputation and position.. George
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