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Don’t shrug off complaints of female-on-male harassment

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

If a male employee complains about sexually harassing comments by a female co-worker, how would your supervisors respond?

Too often, bosses (and some HR professionals) laugh off such "reverse" harassment claims. But that can be an expensive mistake.

Example: A male employee at a Philadelphia financial firm claimed a female co-worker touched him in-appropriately and sent him obscene e-mails. He complained to his two bosses, to HR and then to two VPs. No one took it seriously ... until he sued. This summer, he won a $25,000 judgment.

"Very few (harassment cases) deal with female-on-male harassment, but that is changing as more female managers enter the workplace," said an EEOC spokesman.

The lesson: In training, emphasize that your organization won't tolerate any harassment, including female-on-male and same-sex harassment.

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