Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Sexual Harassment - A Legal Definition Is Badly Needed

Far be it for this Blogger to defend New York Socialist Governor Andrew Cuomo because he is sleazy; but now three woman and probably more will soon appear have accused him of Sexual Harassment because of things he said to them that may have been in appropriate.  First, I have seen how this works a few times in business and it creates an impossible "he said" "she said" discussion.  The ME TOO crowd claims that the woman must always be believed; requiring no due process.  We need a clear legal definition of sexual harassment by the courts that should involve overt touching and groping.  Verbal interaction is just not enough to warrant legal action because there is no way to know the circumstances.  

This Blogger once complemented one of my female management employees on the business suit she was wearing as we were walking into a sales meeting.  I said to her, "that is a beautiful suit you are wearing, is it a St. John Knit".  I knew of such things because my wife of 48 years used to buy and wear them.  They are quite expensive; but I did not comment on the cost, how it fit or anything else related to the complement.  There was no sexual intent of any kind.  It would have been no different had I complemented one of my male employees on a suit he was wearing.  This particular employee brought my comment up with our HR Director not suggesting anything sexual, but rather that I implied, how could she afford a St. John Knit.  Of course, nothing ever came of it because it was ridiculous; but it is conceivable that another female employee might have attempted to turn this incident into something legally actionable.  

In another case, one of our Senior Vice Presidents was accused of sexual harassment by a woman he was terminating for cause for the actions of one of his male employees.  In absolutely no way did this Senior Vice President implement sexual harassment; but this one ended up in a frivolous lawsuit and insurance settlement to get rid of the case.  That is often how the game is played. 

We have reached a point where it is impossible to even complement someone for fear that it might be misconstrued into something else.  Cuomo might have in fact committed sexual harassment and or maybe he was just being a big jerk.  It is ok for a woman to just tell a man to knock if off.   And or go to HR to report the incident so it is documented.  In one of the incidents in the Cuomo case, the woman did just that and ended up being promoted.   In another incident, groping was charged so that may be a legitimate case.  

All this blogger is saying is that sexual harassment should involve more physical interaction to be legally actionable.  Otherwise, we are creating a work place where everybody is walking on eggs requiring men in particular to always look down and make no eye contact, which could be deemed as suggestive.   As usual, in our country, everything is pushed to excess.   Sexual Harassment, which can be real is one of those cases.  

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