Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Subtle Harassment

Flirting Glenna Herald sends us a link to this msnbc.com article by Kiri Blakely: Where "omg, u look gr8" Can Land You in Court.  She writes that "[s]exual harassment isn't about being chased around the desk anymore. It's about flirtation, subtle power plays, retaliation and, of course, text messages."

Welcome to the new sexual harassment. It's (usually) not about the stuff you see on Mad Men, and it's not chasing the secretary around the desk. "It's rare now that somebody in the office says, 'Sleep with me or you're fired,'" says David Bowman, a labor and employment partner at the Philadelphia office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. "Now it's about managers being very flirtatious at the holiday party. It's about getting drunk together at happy hour and something inappropriate being said or done. People are now aware that certain things are not acceptable, but they still stumble over the subtle areas."

Those subtle areas can include everything from flirtation at a company party to a complimentary text message or an unwelcome invitation to discuss the latest project over dinner or drinks. "There's been a new generation of confusion in this area," says Jay Zweig, an employment lawyer with Bryan Cave in Phoenix.

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