When someone says “sexual harassment,” what does he or she mean? One type of sexual harassment is quid pro quo, where a boss will punish an employee for refusing sexual advances or for ending a romantic relationship. It can also include basing promotions, raises and other important employment decisions on whether an employee will provide specific sexual favors.
The other kind of sexual harassment is to create a hostile work environment. That is what one New York man is alleging his supervisor at Metropolitan Transportation Authority did when he would rub his crotch in front of the complainant. The 71-year-old employee says that his boss would pleasure himself, talk to his erection and rub his buttocks on coworkers, and he asked the employee to vacation with him in Trinidad and Tobago.
That employee has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against his former boss and the MTA. Not only is he accusing his boss of sexually harassing him, but that when he tried to report the behavior, higher-ups told him to drop his complaints. He tried to report his boss’s harassment at least three times.
Eventually, the employee’s boss learned that he had complained about him and his sexually explicit behavior. The 71-year-old was subsequently fired.
The MTA is refusing to comment on the lawsuit.
If the allegations are true, then it is clear that this boss sexually harassed his employee. No one should have to put up such behavior, and the higher-ups that he spoke with should have acted when the behavior was reported. By not acting and persuading the employee to keep his complaints quiet, these bosses helped to create a hostile work environment.
Source: New York Post, “Man sues MTA claiming boss ‘pleasured himself’ in office,” Julia Marsh, May 1, 2014