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Thread: outside of work (possibly) sexual harassment question

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    Default outside of work (possibly) sexual harassment question

    my husband received about 6 or 7 explicit nudity photos via picture message on his phone from a co-worker over a span of 3 weeks. these photos were always sent after midnight and anytime in between midnight and 6am, so these photos were not sent during work hours or while either was at work. however, she acquired his number by a schedule list they have at work incase a coworker cannot work and need to find someone to cover their shift. this cannot be proven as it is his word against hers. the nudity photos can be proven because they are saved on the phone, printed, sent to e-mail for further saving, etc. he had repeatedly asked her not to send such photos and she completely ignored his request. this was until i said something to her and approached her employer with her actions. the employer advised that they could do nothing about the situation since it was outside of work and they could risk getting sued. is this true? i thought florida was a no fault state? could somebody please help me with this situation! it would be much appreciated! thanks for reading!

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    shimattasan, you added your question to another poster's old thread from
    2009. You should have started your own new thread. I will go ahead &
    start a new thread for you.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimattasan View Post
    i thought florida was a no fault state?
    I think you're confusing employment law with car insurance. "No-fault" has nothing to do with your husband's situation.

    That said, your husband's company is incorrect when it says it cannot discipline this employee for sending nude photos to your husband. However, it seems from your post that this female employee did stop sending the photos after you spoke to her. If that's correct, then your husband has no more legal issues. In law, if the harassing behaviour has stopped, the issue is closed.

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    You should not be inserting yourself into your husband's relationship with his work. If he wanted to report it as a complaint, then he needs to. His work is under no legal obligation to talk to you.

    I agrre with eerelations that all the law requires is to make the harassment stop. If the woman has stopped texting your husband then there is nothing else to do.

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    so this texting outside of work does fall under sexual harassment, but is it considered work-related? my other question would be, if she did continue, i would have to pursue her and not her employment company, correct? would my next step be to file a police report if she ever continued?

    eerelations - when i said "no fault," i meant to say "at-will employment." and this is what i was wondering about when they said they could not terminate her for these reasons. technically they could, right? i just found out that she was written up for these actions at work. if she were to do it again, then they said they could terminate her.

    you are correct, the texting has stopped, so i wouldn't persue this anymore as long as she doesn't try this again.

    thank you both for responding!

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    Technically they could, yes. But I'd like to reiterate that you may be getting the answers you are because YOU are not the employee. They have no legal obligation to talk to YOU, at all. Your husband is their employee, he is the one who has the employment issue, he is they one they have responsibility for, and he is the one who would have to bring any legal claim, if there was still one to bring.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  7. #7

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    I do not think the “outside of work” consideration plays a factor here. According to the original post, the female co-worker sent presumably unwanted, sexy photos of herself to husband. This could be considered work-related sexual harassment irrespective of when she sent the photos.

    Furthermore, an employer has the right to discipline an at-will employee for her off-the-premises conduct. Additionally, any employer has an obligation to stop co-worker sexual harassment of its employees irrespective of when the harassment takes place.

    Husband’s wife, on his behalf, asked that the texting cease. Following this reporting to the employer, the texting has indeed stopped. If the female co-worker resumes sending the naughty texts or otherwise harassing the husband, and husband reports the resumption of this misconduct, then the employer would have a responsibility to take further appropriate steps to stop her from engaging in this behavior. This may very well include terminating her.

    Separately, as another poster previously indicated, it would be far better for a number of reasons for the husband to report any further harassment and to leave the wife out of the equation.

    Finally, neither the husband nor his wife should take any civil action (or “self help” action) against the female co-worker. Beyond contacting the employer again, the husband can report further harassment to the police as a possible criminal matter.

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    the employer advised that they could do nothing about the situation since it was outside of work and they could risk getting sued. is this true?

    Hell, no. The nexus here is that your husband and the picture-sender are both employees of the same company. Yes, this is sexual harassment. It doesn't matter that she's sending the nude photos after hours and the employer's stance that they would have come legal liability for requiring her to stop is ridiculous. Like a number of employers, they are totally confused about discrimination laws.

    my other question would be, if she did continue, i would have to pursue her and not her employment company, correct? would my next step be to file a police report if she ever continued? YOU can do nothing here. The harassment isn't happening to you, it's happening to your husband.

    Yes, your husband may file a complaint with the police about the pornographic pictures she's sending. I also suggest that he return to his employer and tell them that he's done a bit of research about the law and it's his understanding that they are required to address the problem and take all reasonable steps to make it stop. If they still stick to their nonsense answer, then his next step is to file a complaint of sexual harassment with the EEOC or your State's equal rights division.

    The liability your employer's husband has is not if they tell her to knock it off (or even fire her), if it's they DON'T.

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    Umm....the texting has already stopped....
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    I "think" Beth was just answering OP's question: if she did continue .....
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    Yes, I was answering the OP's original post. If the texting has stopped, then the problem is resolved. If it starts up again though...

    (I just have to wonder what in the heck the woman was thinking to text nude photos of herself to anyone, much less a co-worker. Geez. )

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    Thank you to everyone who replied! It is much appreciated. Hopefully the issue will continue to no longer be an issue.

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    Let's hope so. It appears this woman is a card short of a full deck.

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    I hope it's no longer an issue also.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimattasan View Post
    so this texting outside of work does fall under sexual harassment, but is it considered work-related? my other question would be, if she did continue, i would have to pursue her and not her employment company, correct? would my next step be to file a police report if she ever continued?

    eerelations - when i said "no fault," i meant to say "at-will employment." and this is what i was wondering about when they said they could not terminate her for these reasons. technically they could, right? i just found out that she was written up for these actions at work. if she were to do it again, then they said they could terminate her.

    you are correct, the texting has stopped, so i wouldn't persue this anymore as long as she doesn't try this again.

    thank you both for responding!
    If she is sending photos to your husband there is no action you can take. If he chooses to take action, he can.

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