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Asking Worker to Serve Coffee: Harassment or Hospitality?

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Asking your administrative assistant to fetch you coffee may be old-school, but is it sex discrimination? In a recent case, a female employee got in such a froth about her bosses’ demands for coffee that she said, “Get your own coffee and see you in court!” ...

Case in Point: Tamara Klopfenstein was hired as a part-time receptionist for a Pennsylvania sales company. But things went wrong right away. Her supervisors discussed her performance problems, such as failing to pass along phone messages and putting the wrong labels on packages.

But the real trouble began when Klopfenstein received an e-mail from a company vice president who said one of her “many responsibilities as a receptionist/customer services rep is making and getting coffee.”

He went on to place a reoccurring reminder on her electronic calendar to bring coffee to him and another exec at 3:00 p.m. each day. (When she interviewed, ...(register to read more)

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