My assistant manager talks about his sex life and drug life in detail every time I work with him. I am not the only employee he has talked to about this. We are given vivid detail of with whom and when he has sex. He talks about his drug use and takes pills while at work. He is also gay, not that it matters, but he doesn’t “come on” to me personally. Is this considered sexual harassment?

Posted  12-08-2010

Ann Kiernan replies:

To be illegal hostile environment harassment, the conduct has to be:

  1. Discriminatory or sexual behavior that is
  2. Unwelcome to the recipient, that is
  3. Severe or pervasive enough to interfere with work, and that
  4. The employer knew, or should have known, about it and did not take effective action to stop it.

Looking at your situation, you certainly have factors 1 and 2, which is probably enough to violate your company’s policies right there. If this sex talk really goes on every day, you have factor 3 covered, as well.

Has anyone reported this to HR, the legal department, or higher management? And has nothing been done to stop it? If so, then you will have factor 4. But if no one has spoken up, now is the time to do it! Not only is the assistant manager creating a hostile work environment for everyone who does not want to hear about his bedroom exploits, he is also violating policy and perhaps creating a dangerous workplace through his illegal drug use.


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