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Male boss hits on male employee? That’s harassment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Some employers think it’s no big deal when a man complains about sexual harassment at the hands of another male.

They see it as mere horseplay. That’s a mistake.

Just as women have the right to dignity in a workplace free of sexual harassment, so do men.

Recent case: Brian, who is gay, worked as a paid intern at a water treatment plant. He complained that his male boss sexually harassed him. The supervisor bought him “tuxedo underwear” with ruffles and a bow tie, hats, T-shirts, wine, shot glasses and backpacks—all accompanied by romantic requests. Brian sued.

The employer argued that none of this was sexual harassment, since Brian is a man. The court disagreed and said the case could go to trial. (Lewis v. City of Benicia, No. A134078, Court of Appeal of California, 1st Appellate District, 2014)

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