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  1. #1
    dazedbutwrong is offline Junior Member
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    he starts joking.. then accused me of sexual harassment..

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? FL

    -A coworker accused me of sexual harassment because i jokingly tapped him on the butt, as a joke.. However, he has made sexual comments..

    History-
    I have been working with AK for a year now. We work in a store and cover each others departments for lunch, and when it gets busy. Whenever we did talk, it be about general stuff, stupid **** happening at work. The most personal I got was favorite music. He'd ask where i went to lunch, how i was. We became facebook friends, but never wrote to each other on it. I liked working with him until He'd call/sing my name every time I walked by his department or he saw me. He'd do it when noone else was around. When I would ask whats up, what he needed he'd just say I like calling your name because it sounds nice. He'd only do this to me.
    This went on for about a month.. At first, I'd just shrug it off. However, I took it as flirting, but I knew he had a girlfriend. I starting to feel weird about it because i didnt know if he was tryin to hit on me, tease me or what. I figured not responding he'd get the message. While I was out of town. His girlfriend facebooked me on his facebook account and said she's been hearing that and pretty much accused me of going above and beyond friendship level, and that she wanted to make it clear that she knew i knew he was in a serious, commited relationship, and removed me from his facebook.
    I was shocked and offended by that since I never got personal with him. I called work and asked my friend/coworker D if anyone said anything about me while I was gone, and told her about the email.. She mentioned it to him. He did not know that she did that and wanted her to tell me it wasnt from him, he didnt know she wrote it, and that he doesnt want tension between us. He told her, he thinks im a cool person, and likes that im free spirted.
    I wrote his girl back saying, I don't know what she heard but Im not interested in him in that way, and we barely talk. I felt like saying he's the one making moves on me, but didnt wanna turn it into something bigger.
    When I got back, I felt weird working with him. I was afraid of saying anything. He didnt come to me about what happened. I went up to him and apologized for any misunderstand and told him, i only saw him as a friend. He said its ok no biggie.
    Since that we barely talked.
    A few weeks later, I wasnt posted on the schedule, he asked D (my friend/coworker) if I still worked there (Why ask this if have girlfriend?)
    Sometimes he'd see me and D talking and he'd ask D if I was mad at him.
    For awhile, he took a second job, so he barely worked.
    For halloween, i gave some employees little gifts. I gave him cups with his fav sports teams logo on it (one for his girlfriend).
    Around that time, I walked up to where he and another female co-worker where having a conversation and it was sex related. He made a comment about not liking hair "down there" in girls. I felt weird hearing that since it revealed his sexual preference when he has a girlfriend.
    Sometimes he'd pop up where I'm at, and i almost sure he'd watch me a few times. When i bought a pair of shoes, he asked me who their for. I thought this is weird since he had a girlfriend.
    About a month ago he saw me and a female coworker talking and then asks her why im so quiet.

    Day of incident-
    Sunday was the first night in a while we worked together. since there were two others working that like to goof off, the mood was just fun. We all knew we all like to joke around. I told a male coworker D, id jokingly tap A's butt. and by him a drink if i didnt.. the more i thought about it.. the more i decided not to since it could be taken the wrong way and i didnt want to offend A. D kept reminding me the entire time, and even announced it a few times where others could here. I asked him if he told A I was gonna, and he said no. That night I didnt do it. The next day I figured the subject would be dropped. D reminded me again, throughout the day loudly. At one time I almost am sure A heard him, and after I shrugged him off, A went up to him and asked him what I said. I almost felt like A knew i was gonna do that. That night as I was next to the cashier, who was talking to A and asked about his curly hair. and he made a comment that he has all the hair up there and none "down there" and points to his penis. The cashier and I looked at each other like wow. I felt it was too much info, but at the same time, wondered his reasoning for saying that especially knowing i was gonna tease him and liked working with him and having a girlfriend.
    Two hours after that, the cashier came out of the mens bathroom where she was cleaning and said its disguisting. I told her I was gonna help her clean up and A walked in and asked what was up.
    me, A and cashier walk in mens room, but it needed more sanitary tools then we had. After we walked out, A mentioned it to another DH (male coworker) who made the comment that they look guilty because the two of them and the manager (male) were the only ones in the store during the last two hours. So i jokingly go which one of u did it, and lightly tapped A's butt.
    He told me he wasnt into that, and i said i was sorry it was a joke. and he said it wasnt cool and walked off. D (other male coworker) then told me he was surprised id do it, and that A would lose respect for me if i did.
    That comment made me feel i was set-up, especially since D loudly reminded me that i owe him a drink, and A probably knew about what I was gonna do.
    I didnt think he'd get this offended, especially since he has flirted with me first, made sexual comments,
    I went to work early the next day, to apologize again. However, the boss stopped me and gave me an update about another bosses husband.
    When my shift started, my boss tells me A filled a sexual harassment suit against me and i created a hostile work environment. i was shocked.
    I never touched him, or made any sexual comments to him prior to that time. My intention was joking around.

    Prior to this, we had no problems with each other, and knew we both like to joke around. In fact, we're both shy. Even though i thought his sexual comments were too much info, i wondered if he was giving me a hint.

    I wanna know if there is a case. I filed a statement and detailed his behavior I mentioned here, and specified it was not for sexual purposes. I understand what I did was crossing the line, but he's done the same verbally a few times. Now he states i created a hostile working environment, and feels uncomfy working with me..

    Now im wondering if this is a joke back on me since i have a visable deformity. Can I call corporate and explain that.

    even though it pisses me off that he did that, im wondering if i should still let him know it was just for fun, and wanna work things out to make the work environment calm again.
    Last edited by dazedbutwrong; 01-28-2011 at 12:34 AM. Reason: more info
  2. #2
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    He didn't file a "suit" against you; he made a complaint. He is within his rights to file a complaint with your employer if your behavior made him uncomfortable regardless of who started it. I highly doubt the employer is simply going to take his statements at face value. They will do an investigating and you will have the chance to explain yourself and also bring up the issue of his behavior.

    You have way too many words for the volunteers here to read. Trim it down to about 1/4 the length.
  3. #3
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    If he finds your tapping him on the butt offensive, it is within his rights to complain about it, regardless of whether you "meant it as a joke" or not. It is an inappropriate "joke" and you can be disciplined for it regardless of whether it qualifies as SH or not. (Which, btw, it does, according to the definition I was taught.)

    If he made sexual comments, that was inappropriate too. But you didn't find them offensive, or if you did, you didn't complain about them. In any case, "He did something too/first" is not a defense for what you did.

    I'm not seeing any "case" that you have. I see one that he has - against you. It's not the intent of the alleged harasser; it's the perception of the alleged victim, that counts. Otherwise anyone could sexually harass anyone else, and then say, Oh, I didn't mean it, and not have to suffer any consequences.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  4. #4
    csi7 is offline Senior Member
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    You can check the website for Florida Commission on Human Relations to see the kind of questions that are asked in cases such as yours in an investigation.
  5. #5
    Hot Topic is offline Senior Member
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    I think you've been interested in the guy all along. You want to be passive/aggressive with him. There are things you claim aren't appropriate for him to do, but you don't have a problem engaging in inappropriate behavior yourself.
  6. #6
    dazedbutwrong is offline Junior Member
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    I know I crossed the line. Yes wrong.
    Interest in him, as a friend. He seemed to have interest in me, but I never acted on it because he had a girlfriend.
    Makes me wonder why a guy with a girlfriend would wanna get attention of a girl whose whose 10 years older.
    I have always kept it professional, casual with him because i didnt wanna send mixed signals, and knew he had a girl.
    As for his sexual comments, I wasnt offended, just felt it was unprofessional and really rude considering he had a girlfriend.
    I just think its wrong for him to accuse me when he's just as much at fault. Sure I never complained about it, however if it was directed toward me personally, I would've.
    I felt he knew about my intentions before hand and allowed it.
    It occured in a store after we closed.. heck the manager was even goofing off a bit.
  7. #7
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Tapping him on the butt is a very far cry from "keeping it professional", sweet pea.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  8. #8
    applecruncher is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Tapping him on the butt is a very far cry from "keeping it professional", sweet pea.
    Exactly.

    dazedbutwrong - I'm not going to read your entire novel, but to go on and on and on like that with details about who said what and when and how you're not interested in him, THEN to tap him on the butt speaks for itself. Also, you were stupid to write back to his girlfriend. You should have blocked him/her and moved on. You strike me as being very immature and the type who loves drama. Well, now that he's filed an official complaint against you you're going to get it.
    Last edited by applecruncher; 01-30-2011 at 08:07 AM.
  9. #9
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazedbutwrong View Post

    I took it as flirting, but I knew he had a girlfriend.

    (Why ask this if have girlfriend?)

    it revealed his sexual preference when he has a girlfriend.

    I thought this is weird since he had a girlfriend.

    I felt it was too much info, but at the same time, wondered his reasoning for saying that especially knowing i was gonna tease him and liked working with him and having a girlfriend.

    I never acted on it because he had a girlfriend.

    Makes me wonder why a guy with a girlfriend would wanna get attention of a girl whose whose 10 years older.

    i didnt wanna send mixed signals, and knew he had a girl.

    felt it was unprofessional and really rude considering he had a girlfriend.
    You seem a little obsessed with the fact that he has a girlfriend.
  10. #10
    applecruncher is offline Senior Member
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    Indeed. Good catch.

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